Responding to President Donald Trump's announcement Friday that he is reversing the Obama administration's steps to normalize relations with Cuba, the Castro government said the USA is in no "condition to lecture us".
Cuban state TV said: "The government of Cuba denounces the new measures toughening the embargo that are destined to fail".
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). President Donald Trump arrives at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 16, 2017, after speaking about Cuba policy in Miami.
President Donald Trump Friday charted his own course for more confrontational relations with the Castro-led government in Cuba with a speech in Miami on June 16, 2017.
"Trump's words seem a bit ambiguous to me because he says he wants the best for the Cuban people while tightening the blockade", said Aurelio Seguera, who watched on an old boxset from a rocking chair in his ramshackle home in Central Havana.
Trump will announce his new approach early Friday afternoon at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana, the heart of America's largest Cuban-American community, whose support aides believe helped him win Florida in the election.
"Any strategy meant to change the political, economic and social system in Cuba, whether it is a strategy that tries to achieve so through pressures or the use of more subtle methods, will be condemned to fail", it said.
At the venue where Trump announced his policy changes, the president received a warm welcome from audience members.
The main changes are a ban on U.S. companies.
Since taking over the running of the country just over a decade ago, Castro has been gradually expanding the private sector and trying to open up the country to foreign businesses.More news: Sen. Kamala Harris Again Interrupted by Male Colleagues
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"We can not continue to bring concessions to the Cuban government", he said. He vowed to seek a "much better deal for the Cuban people and for the U.S.".
United States presidents have long balanced outspoken recriminations over human rights abuses with the need to do business with autocratic leaders who run countries that are important USA security and trade partners.
"Our new policy begins with strictly enforcing US law". The president announced a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of US cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations.
Under the revised travel policy, USA officials say there will be tighter enforcement to make sure Americans legally fit the 12 authorized categories they claim to be traveling under, which could spook many visitors, wary of receiving a hefty fine.
"Any limitations on travel hurt Cuban small business owners - restaurants, shops, taxis - that depend on travellers for revenue".
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".
In essence, Mr. Trump's announcement on Friday allowed him to claim fulfillment of a campaign promise, while leaving a vast portion of the Obama policies intact.
The US president framed it as a move against a "cruel and brutal" regime: bypassing the state military-run business group GAESA to channel investment to the people.
The Obama administration argued that decades of isolation had failed to produce changes in the Cuban regime and sought a diplomatic and economic opening between the nations.
"We are not here to lecture - we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship", Trump said in a speech to Arab leaders.