Government Affairs Tillerson hints there will be some rollback of Obama's Cuba policy By Robert Silk / June 14, 2017 Share 1 Photo Credit: Shutterstock -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled Tuesday that the Trump administration plans to clamp down on business investments in Cuba by U.S. companies, reversing a key portion of the rapprochement policy enacted by Barack Obama during the final two years of his presidency. The comments, made by Tillerson to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, came as Trump is widely expected to unveil his Cuba policy in a speech in Miami on Friday. Tillerson described the increased business ties between the former Cold War foes that have resulted from the detente as the sunny side of the current U.S.-Cuba relationship. "There is the dark side though, which is that Cuba has failed to improve its human rights record," Tillerson said. "Political opponents continue to be in prison. Dissidents continue to be jailed."Cuba, he said, "absolutely must begin to address its human rights challenges," if the U.S. is going to sustain that sunny side of the relationship. Tillerson added that under the existing U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, it is illegal to provide financial support to the government. Business transactions in Cuba, even with private citizens, might violate that law, he said. "Are we inadvertently or directly providing financial support to the regime? Our view is, we are," Tillerson said. "And the question is how do we want to deal with that? How do we bring that in compliance with longstanding statutory obligations?"Tillerson didn't directly address issues related to the more liberal travel restrictions to Cuba that the Obama administration enacted. Cuba policy experts, including John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, don't believe Trump will go so far as to put an end to the newly established commercial air service between the U.S. and Cuba. But he thinks the administration is likely to more strictly enforce the existing rules that allow Americans to travel to Cuba under one of 12 legal exemptions. Trump could also take additional steps to clamp down on people-to-people exchanges, which is the exemption most commonly used by tourists, cruise lines and tour operators.