Some Democrats pushing for return to Obama's Cuba policy

Cubans are anxious for President Biden to make good on a campaign promise of re-examining Trump administration policies.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: We have to vote for a new Cuba policy as well. This administration's approach isn't working. Cuba's no closer to freedom and democracy today than it was four years ago.

ANDREW RAFFERTY: Then candidate Joe Biden on the campaign trail this past October saying it's time to rethink US policies towards Cuba. But today, more than 120 days later, the same Trump-era policies exist. Ezekial [INAUDIBLE] operates horse and carriage tours in Havana. He says he's been out of work for a year and a half, and he's hoping President Biden reverts back to Obama's policies, easing restrictions on Cuba and letting Americans travel once it's deemed safe to do so.

BARACK OBAMA: Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.

ANDREW RAFFERTY: President Obama thawed relations, allowing more Americans to visit Cuba. In 2016, the first US cruise ship in 50 years docked in Old Havana. By 2018, 20 cruise lines were ferrying nearly a million passengers to the island. That ended with President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: Frankly, we just said, what did Obama do? And I heard. And you know what I did? I did the opposite.

ANDREW RAFFERTY: Collin Laverty runs a company offering cultural and educational tours to Americans. Under Obama, he organized 5,000 trips each year. Now they've slowed to a trickle. He expects changes.

COLLIN LAVERTY: But he's clearly supporting liberalizing US travel to the island. I suspect that he's going to start by restoring a series of travel categories that were eliminated.

ANDREW RAFFERTY: And new tonight, a Biden Administration official tells Newsy that a policy shift is not among the president's top priorities right now. Instead, they want to help Cuban people determine their own future and promote policies that fight for human rights around the globe. Andrew Rafferty, Newsy, Washington.