"We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer", Trump told a cheering crowd in Miami's Cuban-American enclave of Little Havana, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who helped forge the new restrictions on Cuba.
However, despite the rhetoric, the order appears to be less far-reaching than the President claimed, for example, the embassies that opened in Havana and Washington will be maintained, Cuban Americans will be allowed to send money to their families and visit them, and US companies will be allowed to continue commercial transportation, including flights between the two countries.
"The Cuban government denounces the new measures hardening the blockade that are destined to fail ... and that will not achieve their aim of weakening the revolution", Havana said.
Chipping away at Barack Obama's legacy, US President Donald Trump cancelled his predecessor's "one-sided" Cuba deal and put the two Cold War- era rivals on collision course again by vowing to not allow dollars to prop up Raul Castro's "military monopoly".
Diplomatic relations will remain in tact and commercial air and sea links will be exempted from the new restrictions.
Another of Trump's measures is to ban U.S. companies from doing business with companies that belong to the Cuban Armed Forces. Importantly, no changes will go into effect until the Treasury and Commerce Departments issue new regulations that conform with the administration's policy.
Castro's government has clearly stated it does not intend to change its one-party political system.
Trump and his aides have acknowledged he places more value on areas of potential cooperation than on human rights, and the President proclaimed himself during his swing through the Middle East in May that he would not lecture foreign governments about their practices.
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"There are so many other opportunities in so many other countries that are easier to deal with government and infrastructure that (hotel companies) will look to those opportunities first", said Zelkowitz, whose firm represents hotel companies such as Solé and Marriott.
Castro also said that "the U.S. is not in a position to give us lessons". Trump cast that as a sign the USA still wanted to engage with Cuba in hopes of forging "a much stronger and better path".
Pointing to human rights abuses, Trump said, "My administration will not hide from it, excuse it, or glamorize it and we will never ever be blind to it". "Our new policy begins with strictly enforcing USA law", he told a cheering crowd in Miami's Little Havana, the spiritual home of the Cuban- American community. "We're the ones who are hurt".
Trump concluded his speech in solidarity with the Cuban people, "May God bless everyone searching for freedom, may God bless Cuba, may God bless the United States of America".
Critics of the rapprochement said Obama was giving too much away without extracting concessions from the Cuban government.
"There will be little impact on the United States economy", said Michael Shifter, a specialist at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based research group.
"The Cuban administration is a violator of human rights as much as some of the people who President Trump has praised and admired on his recent trip, such as the King of Saudi Arabia and the president of Egypt", said Peter Schechter, a Latin America specialist who most recently headed the Atlantic Council's Latin American center. The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which once let most Cuban migrants stay if they made it to US soil but was terminated under Obama, will remain terminated.