The Cuban government on Saturday responded to President Donald Trump’s decision to reverse steps taken by the Obama administration to thaw relations between Cuba and the US. Last Friday, Trump announced that travel and commerce between the countries will be restricted until Cuba resolves its human rights abuses. According to Trump, the Cuban government is guilty of various abuses such as the imprisoning of civilians, harboring of criminals, and support of human trafficking, forced labor and exploitation.The Cuban government responded by criticizing the US position on human rights as a double standard. The country cited “deep concerns by the respect and the guaranties of the human rights in that country, where there is a large number of cases of murder, brutality and police abuse, particularly against the African Americans; the right to live is violated as a result of deaths by firearms.” Cuba called Trump’s decision a significant “backward step” that uses old methods of coercion to strengthen the embargo between the nations.
This decision halts two years of progress normalizing relations between the US and Cuba. For a country accused of significant human right abuses, Cuba took a significant step to open itself to the world on human rights in April. An agreement was made between the United Nations and Cuba to allow a UN investigator to visit [JURIST report] the island nation for the first time in over 10 years. The executive order [materials] by Donald Trump only effects certain relations originally crated by Obama. One area unaffected by the order is the immigration policy, which ended a longstanding immigration [JURIST report] policy in January.