CBS Miami: U.S. Tightens Restrictions On Cuba Travel, Business & Trade

CBS Miami

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/11/08/cuba-us-travel-business-policy/?mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23

The national business coalition Engage Cuba issued a statement against the new restriction saying in part, “These new regulations create a more convoluted, confusing and counterproductive approach to Cuba policy. This ‘Keystone Cops’ Cuba policy hurts those it claims to help and helps those it claims to hurt."

Newsweek: Trump Crackdown on Cuba: New restrictions on visits and business

Newsweek

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-crackdown-cuba-new-restrictions-705473?mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23

Engage Cuba, a national coalition of private companies, organizations and local leaders dedicated to advancing federal legislation to lift the 55-year-old Cuba embargo, slammed the new restrictions in a statement Wednesday. "It seems we have fumbled our Cuba policy right into the hands of Vladimir Putin. While the Cuban people and U.S. businesses lose out, reverting back to our policy of isolation is a gift to the Kremlin," the organization's president, James Williams, said in a statement.

Tampa Bay Times: Rubio says State Department ‘bureaucrats’ limited Cuba restrictions

Tampa Bay Times 

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2017/11/08/rubio-says-state-department-bureaucrats-limited-cuba-restrictions/?mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23

Meantime, the Engage Cuba group, which advocates for open ties with the country, played off concerns Russia could see an opportunity. "The Trump Administration has yet again shown their hypocritical approach to human rights. The great irony of releasing these regulations while President Trump stands in Communist China is dumbfounding, but not surprising," the group said in a statement.

USA Today: Trump cracks down on U.S. business and travel to Cuba. Here’s what’s changing

USA Today

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/11/08/trump-cracks-down-u-s-business-and-travel-cuba/843419001/?mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23

Engage Cuba, a coalition of companies that supported Obama's opening, said pulling more Americans out of Cuba will only increase the influence of Russia, which has been re-establishing itself on the island. "It seems we have fumbled our Cuba policy right into the hands of (Russian President) Vladimir Putin," said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba.

ABC News: New Cuba policy will restrict travel for Americans

ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/International/cuba-restrictions-make-harder-americans-visit-country/story?id=51013328&mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23

It could also leave an opening for Russia, according to James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba, a coalition of businesses and organizations lobbying to end the embargo. "While the Cuban people and U.S. businesses lose out, reverting back to our policy of isolation is a gift to the Kremlin. Russia is quickly expanding its foothold in Cuba, looking to regain its once diminished sphere of influence in our backyard," he said in a statement.

Miami Herald: What Trump’s Cuba crackdown will look like

Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article183405526.html?mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23

James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, which supports closer ties to the island, said he found the timing of the regulations release puzzling, coming while Trump is on an official visit to China. “The Trump administration has yet again shown their hypocritical approach to human rights,” Williams said. “The great irony of releasing these regulations while President Trump stands in Communist China is dumbfounding.”

Reuters: White House implements new Cuba policy restricting travel and trade

Reuters

https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2017/11/08/white-house-implements-new-cuba-policy-restricting-travel-and-trade/

Future deals with Mariel, which boasts tax and customs breaks, will not be possible, as it features on a list published Wednesday of 180 government entities that Americans are now banned from doing business with. “The Mariel restriction particularly sticks out because it is the most dynamic and exciting opportunity in Cuba,” said James Williams, president of lobby group Engage Cuba.

Washington Post: White House implements new Cuba policy restricting travel and trade

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-implements-new-cuba-policy-restricting-travel-and-trade/2017/11/08/a5597dee-c49b-11e7-aae0-cb18a8c29c65_story.html?mc_cid=82374f178a&mc_eid=198796dc23&utm_term=.e6d51af0fa79

The Obama changes were widely supported by U.S. businesses. Engage Cuba, a national business coalition that supports lifting the embargo and expanding trade and travel, called the new regulations a “more convoluted, confusing and counterproductive approach to Cuba policy” that will hurt the Cuban private entrepreneurs it claims to be helping, and abandon U.S. leadership to Russian efforts to regain influence in the hemisphere.

Washington Examiner: Nikki Haley apologizes to Cubans for 'casual cruelty' of Obama administration

Washington Examiner

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nikki-haley-apologizes-to-cubans-for-casual-cruelty-of-obama-administration/article/2639281?mc_cid=5ecae7414a&mc_eid=198796dc23

“If the administration spoke to real Cubans, they would know that fears for the future are rooted in what a rollback of engagement means for their businesses, communities and families," Engage Cuba President James Williams said Wednesday.

ACN: Senator Patrick Leahy Rejects Reprisal Against Cuban Diplomats

ACN

http://www.cubanews.acn.cu/world/7359-senator-patrick-leahy-rejects-reprisal-against-cuban-diplomats?mc_cid=2c90f5b459&mc_eid=198796dc23

The President of Engage Cuba, James Williams says that the expulsion the Cuban diplomats in Washington is a political move. He said that this move is only favoring a handful of individuals in Capitol Hill urging to stop the progress in relations between both countries. If the United States takes a solution to the alleged attacks seriously, they should not place any obstacles in Cuba's cooperation during this critical time of the investigation, he said.

Northwest Arkansas Gazette: U.S. gives 15 Cuban envoys week to leave

Northwest Arkansas Gazette

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2017/oct/04/u-s-gives-15-cuban-envoys-week-to-leave/?mc_cid=978f0631fd&mc_eid=198796dc23

"If the U.S. government is serious about solving this mystery, they shouldn't make it more difficult to cooperate with the Cuban government during this critical time of the investigation," said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a group that aims to strengthen U.S.-Cuba ties.

Buzzfeed: US Expels Cuban Diplomats Over Unexplained Illnesses In Havana

Buzzfeed

https://www.buzzfeed.com/johnhudson/us-expels-cuban-diplomats-over-unexplained-illnesses-in?utm_term=.nlogewPYnl&mc_cid=978f0631fd&mc_eid=198796dc23#.obo54Pz0WV

Advocates of closer engagement between the US and Cuba called the move hasty and counterproductive. "Expelling Cuban diplomats will not solve this mystery," James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba, said.

The Daily Caller/MSN: US Confirms Expulsion Of 15 Cuban Diplomats

Daily Caller/MSN

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/us-confirms-expulsion-of-15-cuban-diplomats/ar-AAsSoo3?mc_cid=978f0631fd&mc_eid=198796dc23

Some pro-Cuba groups worry those moves will derail progress toward normalizing relations between Washington and Havana. The Engage Cuba Coalition, a collection of business and civil organizations, says that reducing staff at both countries’ is embassies will make it harder to discover who is behind the attacks.

Reuters: U.S. expels 15 Cuban diplomats, fuelling tensions with Havana

Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cuba-diplomacy/u-s-expels-15-cuban-diplomats-fuelling-tensions-with-havana-idUSKCN1C81UE?il=0&mc_cid=978f0631fd&mc_eid=198796dc23

But James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a Washington-based pro-engagement lobbying group said: “This decision appears to be purely political, driven by the desire of a handful of individuals in Congress to halt progress between our two countries.”