ST. CLOUD -- President Trump has announced a tightening of regulations on travel and trade with Cuba. However, a local expert on Cuban relations says it isn't as strong a roll-back on Obama era policies as some feared.

Gary Prevost is a retired professor of Political Science at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University and co-author of "United States-Cuban Relations - A Critical History."

Prevost says Minnesota's interest comes from our agricultural base.

"The interest in Cuba for Minnesota has more been, and evidenced of course by Tom Emmer, is the agricultural nature of Minnesota's economy and the opportunities to sell Minnesota's agricultural products to Cuba, which has been possible since 2000 and will not change under these [new] regulations."

Prevost adds Trump shouldn't face much legal challenge this time around.

"He does have the power, and I think all he's doing is ordering the Treasury Department  to re-write the rules on business and travel opportunities to Cuba, which is in executive privilege and executive power."

Prevost says any opposition Trump faces will likely be political.

Several members of Congress, including 55 Senators have signed onto legislation opening trade and relations with Cuba.

Prevost says a majority of Cuban-Americans in polls have supported an of Cuban-American relations. As the individual travel restrictions could harm Cuba's burgeoning free-markets and tourism industry.

President Trump's new policy will maintain diplomatic relations and allow U.S.based flights and cruise ships to continue traveling to the island.

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