U.S. President Donald Trump outlined his hardline policy on Cuba Friday, promising to cancel his predecessor's "completely one-sided deal with Cuba."
“Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and for the United States of America. We don’t want U.S. dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba,” Trump said, pledging that U.S. sanctions would not be lifted until Cuba frees political prisoners and holds free elections.
Under the changes, Washington will tighten rules on individual U.S. citizens travelling to Cuba. Travellers going there for non-academic educational purposes will again be required to visit with organized tour groups run by U.S. companies.
Trump also demanded that Cuba return Black activist Assata Shakur, who fled to the island in 1984. Shakur was a member of the former Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, organizations which fought for the emancipation of Black people living in the United States.
After being convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1977 and fleeing prison in 1979, deceased Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro eventually granted her political asylum.
“Return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur),” Trump said.
“To the Castro regime, I repeat, the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end. You have no choice. It will end.”
Those in favor of normalized U.S. relations with Cuba, along with supporters of Shakur, didn’t take Trump’s policy changes and remarks lightly.
Here’s how some of them responded on Twitter.
En vez de pedir que Cuba libere a los presos políticos, Trump debe expulsar a los políticos delincuentes cobijados en EEUU.— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) June 16, 2017
"Rather than asking Cuba to release political prisoners, Trump ought to get rid of the delinquent politicians sheltered in the United States."
Assata Shakur's "debt" to American society was paid by her ancestors & later when she was shot, beaten, framed & locked in men's prison. https://t.co/cTUVd1B0jD— Ferrari Sheppard (@stopbeingfamous) June 16, 2017
Trump name checks Assata Shakur (calls her by her former name, Joanne Chesimard) as a dog whistle to his people. #TrumpingCuba— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 16, 2017
Trump wants Assata Shakur back and calling her a cop killer... go arrest the cops here who killed innocent people first.— Manny Jam (@Manolo819) June 16, 2017