President Donald Trump, a South Florida fixture during his first three months in office, ends two months of exile from the Sunshine State today today to announce he’s reversing some of former President Barack Obama‘s policies toward communist Cuba.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is scheduled to accompany Trump for a 1 p.m. event at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami’s Little Havana.
Rubio said Thursday that Trump’s announcement will mark “a good day for the Cuban people, a better deal for the Cuban people, which is who we’re trying to help here, by empowering them and doing so in a way that does not empower their oppressors.”
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Trump pledged to take a hard line on the Castro regime during the 2016 campaign and was rewarded with an endorsement by Bay of Pigs veterans in Miami last fall.
He’s expected today to reverse some changes in Cuba policy ordered by Obama. That includes restricting transactions by U.S. citizens with hotels and other entities associated with the Cuban military.
“The goal of these policies is very simple,” Rubio said Thursday. “We want to empower and we want to strengthen the Cuban people without strengthening the Cuban military, which controls a significant percentage of their economy.”
But Trump is not expected to revive the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, terminated under Obama, which used to allow people who fled Cuba and made it to dry land in the U.S. to remain in the country and eventually attain U.S. citizenship. Trump is also expected to keep the U.S. embassy in Havana, which reopened under Obama in 2015.