Trump Places New Restrictions On Travel And Trade To Cuba

Aaron Brown
November 9, 2017

The US administration has published a series of measures increasing limits on Americans' dealings with Cuba. The Hotel Ambos Mundos in Old Havana, famous for its connection to American novelist Ernest Hemingway, is also on the banned list.

President Donald Trump vowed in June to ramp up pressure on Havana, saying the USA gave up too much in exchange for the historic resumption of ties.

President Donald Trump signs his new Cuba policy at the Manuel Artime Theateron June 16, 2017 in Miami, where he unveiled the changes he's making to the Obama-era policies toward Cuba.

Under the new rules, most individual visits to Cuba will no longer be allowed, and USA citizens will again have to travel as part of a licensed group, accompanied by a group representative.

President Barack Obama restored diplomatic ties with Havana in 2015 and issued regulatory changes that allowed increased commercial relations and expanded travel to Cuba.

The White House said the changes are meant to prevent Cuba's military, intelligence and security services from benefiting from American tourism and trade - and also "to encourage the government to move toward greater economic freedom".

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"People under the jurisdiction of the United States will now be prohibited from doing certain direct financial transactions" with those institutions, including more than 100 hotels, marinas and shops.

Travel on educational visas will no longer be allowed, requiring travelers to instead use a US company.

However, you can travel with an organization that is under US laws.

The announcement of the restrictions was made at a time when several economic, academic and business sectors in the United States are interested in expanding their ties with Cuba and when surveys show that most USA citizens favor an end to the blockade. US government officials told The Associated Press that the restrictions aim to decrease American trade and commerce with businesses backed by the Cuban military. "They serve to placate a fading minority in South Florida, harming American and Cuban workers and families". Although the new blacklist is created to impact the Cuban military, the Trump administration has not commented on whether the restrictions are related to the "health attacks" that US government officials experienced in the Havana embassy.

Further, the department said US companies will not be allowed to invest in the Mariel Special Economic Development Zone - a district being built that the island considers a crucial fixture in its future economy. Wednesday his administration released its new Cuba regulations - and ironically, private Cuban entrepreneurs may get hit worst.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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