The changes will include rolling back provisions that made it easier for individual Americans to travel to Havana, and American companies who made investments in the country in the past couple of years may see regulatory changes as well, senior White House officials told reporters during a conference call.
The new policy will prohibit Americans from spending money at businesses owned by the Cuban military through its Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A. (GAESA), the most powerful company in Cuba. It seeks to force Cuba to hold free and fair elections, release political prisoners, and allow political and religious freedom.
Embassies will remain open and travel and money sent by Cubans will be unaffected, the Herald reported. In January, Obama ended the long-standing so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, which had allowed migrants who reach US shores automatic visas and an easy path to permanent residency.
He's expected today to reverse some changes in Cuba policy ordered by Obama.
There are also no plans to reinstate the limits that Obama lifted on the amount of the island's coveted rum and cigars that American can bring home for personal use, one White House official said. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration would conduct a "top-to-bottom" review of U.S. -Cuba policy.More news: Southern Baptists adopt resolution denouncing alt-right, white supremacy at annual convention
Rubio said the changes will be a step in the right direction.
Protesters who support easing restrictions on Cuba - saying that more engagement with the island is a better bet to undermine the regime - are expected to mass outside the theater in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood where Trump is expected to speak. Because if they had, they'd know that the only thing that restricting travel will do is devastate Cubans working in the private sector who have relied on American visitors to provide for their families.
But individual "people-to-people" trips by Americans to Cuba, allowed by Obama for the first time in decades, will again be prohibited.
American tourists with existing plans to travel to Cuba may not be affected. And the USA government will police other such trips to ensure there's a tour group representative along making sure travelers are pursuing a "full-time schedule of educational exchange activities". That means that any US traveler now booked on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or even months, could go ahead and make the trip.
But now, if US citizens want to travel for any of those exempt reasons, according to the Herald they will have to provide detailed records and plans showing what they will be doing while in Cuba and keep extensive records of all financial transactions within Cuba for five years to make available for the Treasury Department if requested. Rather, the administration "wants any benefits of commerce to go towards the Cuban people".
Cuba functioned as a virtual US colony for much of the 20th century, and even reform-minded Cubans are highly sensitive to perceived USA infringements on national sovereignty.