Gov. Cuomo on Trump's Cuba rollback: It's a mistake

June 16, 2017 11:26 PM

On Friday, President Trump rolled back some of President Obama's policies opening up Cuba to U.S. investment.

The president says his new policies are designed to isolate the Cuban Regime.

He signed an order that once again restricts individual travel and seeks to keep tourism dollars out of the hands of the regime.

But critics say the decision ignores the rapid change and opportunities. Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Cuba two years ago along with other state leaders who formed a partnership in Cuba during that trip.

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It's too early to tell exactly what Trump's new restrictions will cover exactly, but already Governor Cuomo says these policies are not good for New York.

"To abruptly close those options, I think, is a mistake," says Gov. Cuomo.

Cuomo was in Geneva Friday evening and he had a lot to say about President Trump's new Cuba policy.

Trump said, "Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administrations completely one-sided deal with Cuba."

Cuomo was among a delegation of state leaders in 2015 who he says were the first to visit Cuba. He says it was an exciting trip in which state leaders formed partnerships in Cuba. Trump's new policy could void all that.

"One of them was for a very exciting cancer drug that had great success and potential for treating lung cancer," the governor adds.

Cuomo says there are more concerns other than just the economic implications.

"China and Russia will be happy to say you can't trust the United States and then you'll have China and Russia sitting on our doorstep," says Professor Paul Butler, Georgetown University.

"It's not just about economic connections and economic synergies," says Cuomo, "there are health synergies, there are energy synergies, educational synergies, cultural synergies... So to unnecessarily abort that, I think is a mistake."

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo benefited from the partnerships. That opened the door for clinical trials of the first lung cancer vaccine. Trump has said he will not disrupt current U.S. business ventures with Cuba.


Lynette Adams

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