President Trump’s New Travel Rules for Cuba
New Travel Rules for Cuba
Today’s decision is a setback in US-Cuban relations. The Trump Administration has stiffened the travel restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba. Under President Kennedy, the Cuban embargo banned tourism from the US. President Obama, relaxed regulations allowing Americans to visit Cuba under “people-to-people” travel. The new policy announced today by President Trump today will again restrict individual travel to Cuba for Americans. Now Americans wanting to travel to Cuba will be forced to go through monitored approved groups and tours. This will ensure that a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities is maintained.
The US wants to support Cuban People, not Cuban Military
The Trump administration will prohibit commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services. The goal is to stop US dollars from supporting GAESA which is a firm owned by the Castro Family. GAESA owns the top hotels on the island, the majority of the retail store chains, the rent-a-car companies, and other agencies. It is unclear exactly what that means since the Airports, Ports and Tour Companies all fall under the Cuban Military. Like many things announced by President Trump, the new regulations will not take effect immediately. Government agencies will release the policy changes in the coming months. You can read the answers put out by the Treasury Department here at Frequently Asked Questions on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement
Some of the changes in Cuban Policy:
- American are prohibited from staying in Hotels that operate in conjunction with the Cuban government
- Dinner at state-owned restaurants is prohibited
- Drinks and Dancing at Cuban State-owned nightclubs are prohibited.
Link to the Frequently Asked Questions on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement from the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) with all the proposed changes:
Read more about Cuba on our Cuba Page