The past weekend’s news in Miami had little to do with former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before a special Senate Intelligence Committee last week where he called President Donald Trump a liar. During a three hour public appearance, Comey lashed out at Trump denying his honesty no less than five times.
It is rare to accuse a U.S. president of lying, especially before a select group of U.S. senators. And yet, these days, Miami seems more interested in reports, through White House sources and the offices of our south Florida members of Congress, that the president will visit Miami on Friday, June 16. During this visit, those sources are telling a variety of newspapers and other media, Trump will deliver his promised new Cuba policy initiative. It has Miami in an uproar with speculation of what may be coming after almost three years of political thaw between the U.S. and Cuba.
And in spite of great expectations by what’s left of the traditional hard right Cuban Americans in Miami, Tim Padgett and Tom Hudson of WLRN are reporting that “White House officials appear to be in disagreement over whether June 16 will be the day — and sources say Miami’s Cuban-American congressional delegation is split over whether the President should even travel here next week since he’s unlikely to unveil any significant changes to his predecessor’s normalization of relations with the communist island.”
So it all may turn out to be wishful thinking by those few south Florida dinosaurs who would love to see Cuba sink into the ocean and be resurrected as a 21st century U.S. colony.
Still, other news services are reporting the possibility of even closing embassies, which would be tragic.
[For an almost day to day recording about the reaction and speculation of what President Trump might do with Cuba, visit STEPPING BACKWARD in Progreso Weekly, where we offer a brief blurb of what others are saying. The key word here is “speculation.”]
Nobody seems to really know what this Friday might bring us. In fact, not everyone is sure that Trump will address the Cuba rollback during his visit to Miami. And… are we even sure that he will visit Miami this week?
Some other possibilities being bandied about regarding the Trump rollback on Cuba policy include:
- Nullifying license agreements that U.S. firms such as Starwood and Marriott have struck with Cuba since Obama announced normalization in 2014.
- The end of Senate Bill 1287.
- The shutdown of much of the trade between the two countries.
- A reduction of the 12 categories that allow persons to travel to Cuba, which would curtail the visit of many Americans now traveling to the island.
- Curtail family visits to only once a year.
There are others, but truth of the matter, as I’ve already stated, nobody really knows. I don’t think even the president knows. Nora Games of the El Nuevo Herald quotes White House spokesperson Helen Aguirre as stating that “the president has not seen the final proposal and has not approved it…”
No matter the case and whatever may happen later this week it looks to be a possibly big gamble by President Trump — and a last ditch effort by the Cuban American members of congress and a dying breed of Cuban Americans in south Florida. A gamble by the president because as polls have shown more than 60 percent of Miami Cubans are in favor of lifting the U.S. embargo against Cuba.
But do they vote? It’s a fair and viable question and one Mr. Trump, and those Cuban American members of congress, will have to live with. Will it affect the president and members of his party in 2018? That’s all in play right now.
Lastly, I keep asking myself how this will affect Trump’s chances of winning Florida — again — in 2020. That’s if he runs for reelection. At this early date I don’t doubt that Florida will be the bellwether swing state then. And yet, you may be asking, will Trump still be around to run for a second term?
I know. There are more questions than answers. It looks like a Trump presidency will always feel that way.