Supporters, Protesters Voice Opinion on Trump's Cuba Policy Reversal - NBC 6 South Florida

Reestablishing connections with the island nation and its people

Supporters, Protesters Voice Opinion on Trump's Cuba Policy Reversal

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    Protesters and supporters gathered for President Trump's visit to Miami to announce changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba. (Published Friday, June 16, 2017)

    As President Donald Trump spoke in front of a largely supportive crowd inside a Little Havana theater Friday, detailing his plans to roll back several policy moves regarding the relationship between America and Cuba, groups of opponents and supporters stood outside voicing their opinions.

    While supporters waved signs from Trump’s presidential campaign – as well as some holding signs still taking aim at his opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton - those who oppose the President’s plans were just as vocal.

    Protesters greeted Trump, who was making his first trip to Miami since becoming president, to two continuous hours of the Beatles' "Back in the USSR" on a speaker.

    "The Cuban people want more Americans coming, they want opportunity. They live off these tips they make in the private sector," said Patrick Hidalgo, a Cuban-American activist. "Any curtailing of that is not good for the cause of democracy itself, the transition and for just the daily living of average Cubans."

    "If you look at how communism has been toppled, it has not been with embargoes, it has been toppled with dialogue," said Millie Rayfield.

    The Trump administration says it is changing the policy, enacted by former President Obama in 2014 in an effort to thaw relations between the countries that has last for over half a century, in part due to the continued human rights violations by the Cuban government – an issue many supporters have spoken about since the initial policy changes were created.

    The President’s plan also is aimed in an effort to allow the Cuban people to develop economic and political liberty.

    Opponents, including a growing number of younger Cuban Americans born in America, contend that such moves will not allow citizens that chance at liberty and will funnel more to the administration of current Cuban leader Raul Castro – who will leave office in February of 2018.

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