President Trump delivered a vexing speech regarding his new Cuba policy in Miami on Friday, announcing he’d be canceling the Obama administration’s “terrible and misguided deal” with the island nation, and that he plans to “expose the crimes of the Castro regime.”
“They made a deal with a government that spread violence and instability in the region and nothing they got,” Trump said, referring to the 2014 diplomatic actions that loosened travel and business restrictions between the United States and Cuba. “We now hold the cards. The previous administration’s easing of restrictions of travel and trade does not help the Cuban people. They only enrich the Cuban regime.”
According to CNN, the president also demanded that Cuba “return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard.” The “cop killer” he referred to is, of course, activist Assata Shakur, who has lived in exile on the island for over two decades.
Shakur has always maintained her innocence in regards to the 1973 New Jersey Turnpike shooting that left both a police officer and one of her Black Panther comrades dead. She spent six and a half years in prison before escaping and fleeing the United States for Cuba in 1979. She was granted diplomatic immunity in 1984.
In 2014, President Obama announced plans to reopen the American embassy in Havana, ease business regulations and allow more Americans to travel to Cuba. As CNN notes, the decision also allowed Americans to bring more goods back from the island.
The Trump administration’s new policy will allow diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba to remain open, CNN also reports, though restrictions on Cuba will tighten. The policy also calls for the Trump administration to “begin strictly enforcing the authorized exemptions that allow travel between the US and Cuba and prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services.”
Read more about Trump’s new policy here.