"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba", Trump said at an appearance in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, although it turns out he is only rolling back some of the policies his predecessor put in place over the a year ago to open up relations with the communist country. Last week, a group of House Republicans sent a letter to Trump opposing "reversing course" on Cuba.
But the significant policy shift will curtail Americans' ability to travel freely to Cuba, even as numerous US airlines, hotels and travel sites like AirBnb have begun offering services there. Indeed, last week, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to support new sanctions against Russian Federation.
One of the biggest changes is what constitutes a legal form of travel to Cuba.
Trump tore into former President Barack Obama in front of an audience made up largely of Cuban exiles and their descendants in a theater named for a leader of the failed 1961 USA -backed Bay of Pigs invasion. He said Trump's policy may put US national security at risk as strategic competitors move to fill the vacuum the uncoupling could create. Tourism was still prohibited, however.
Trump will not end an Obama-era policy that allows American visitors to bring back all the rum and cigars they can manage if they do make it down.
More broadly, USA engagement with Cuba has improved cooperation on everything from counter-narcotics to environmental protection.
Perlmutter noted that he accompanied Obama on his historic trip to Cuba in March 2016, when the Arvada Democrat applauded potential new business, tourism and cultural opportunities. "But the law is there and we can not encourage people to violate that law".
But those going for educational purposes will now need to apply with the Treasury Department and go with a licensed tour group - a process than can be far more lengthy and expensive, according to anti-embargo advocates.
Reports are that the president plans to travel to Florida to announce that he will reverse Obama's opening to Cuba, reinstate restrictions on the right of US citizens to travel to Cuba and curtail business opportunities that Obama had opened up by executive order.
US companies and citizens will also be barred from doing business with any firm controlled by the Cuban military or its intelligence or security services, walling off crucial parts of the economy, including much of the tourist sector, from USA access.
And he is not closing down the American embassy Obama opened in Havana - a pillar of the deal Trump claimed was so awful for the US.
"When he's cutting back on travel, he's hurting us, the Cuban entrepreneurs", said Camilo Diaz, a 44-year-old waiter in a restaurant in Havana. Previously, Cubans who reached US shores earned automatic visas.
One of the most oppressive regimes throughout the world, Saudi Arabia denies women rights, decapitates alleged criminals, amputates limbs, and quite literally crucifies children.
"The Government of Cuba denounces the new measures for strengthening the blockade, which are destined to fail as proven repeatedly in the past", the statement said. "We will enforce the embargo". Commercial contracts that will create $1.1 billion worth of US exports to Cuba in the next five years would be broken, costing more than 1,000 jobs a year.
"We believe that this is the moment for a maximum reversal of some policies that only benefit the Castro regime and does very little or nothing for the oppressed people", Ferrer wrote in an open letter to Trump last week. United States airlines and cruise ships will still be allowed to serve the island.
But facing lower than expected travel demand, a number of carriers have already begun to scale back their Cuba operations.