Travel to Cuba from United States has now been restricted by Trump
In a speech on June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump announced new restrictions on travel to Cuba by Americans.
In a directive outlining his stance on Cuba, President Trump changed many of the Obama era changes towards Cuba.
He said people to people travel will end but family travel will continue.
In his speech, he said travel restrictions will be enforced. The honor code shall no longer be enough to get a traveler into the country.
The White House has issued a “Fact Sheet on Cuba Policy” which outlines some of the new changes.
There are four stated objectives for the changes:
- Enhance compliance with United States law—in particular, the provisions that govern the embargo of Cuba and the ban on tourism;
- Hold the Cuban regime accountable for oppression and human rights abuses ignored under the Obama policy;
- Further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and those of the Cuban people; and
- Lay the groundwork for empowering the Cuban people to develop greater economic and political liberty.
The policy changes made in June 2017 regarding travel to Cuba by U.S. Citizens are as follows:
- The new policy channels economic activities away from the Cuban military monopoly, Grupo de Administración Empresarial (GAESA), including most travel-related transactions, while allowing American individuals and entities to develop economic ties to the private, small business sector in Cuba. The new policy makes clear that the primary obstacle to the Cuban people’s prosperity and economic freedom is the Cuban military’s practice of controlling virtually every profitable sector of the economy. President Trump’s policy changes will encourage American commerce with free Cuban businesses and pressure the Cuban government to allow the Cuban people to expand the private sector.
- The policy enhances travel restrictions to better enforce the statutory ban on United States tourism to Cuba. Among other changes, travel for non-academic educational purposes will be limited to group travel. The self-directed, individual travel permitted by the Obama administration will be prohibited. Cuban-Americans will be able to continue to visit their family in Cuba and send them remittances.
- The policy reaffirms the United States statutory embargo of Cuba and opposes calls in the United Nations and other international forums for its termination. The policy also mandates regular reporting on Cuba’s progress—if any—toward greater political and economic freedom.
The policy clarifies that any further improvements in the United States-Cuba relationship will depend entirely on the Cuban government’s willingness to improve the lives of the Cuban people, including through promoting the rule of law, respecting human rights, and taking concrete steps to foster political and economic freedoms.
- The policy memorandum directs the Treasury and Commerce Departments to begin the process of issuing new regulations within 30 days. The policy changes will not take effect until those Departments have finalized their new regulations, a process that may take several months. The Treasury Department has issued Q&As that provide additional detail on the impact of the policy changes on American travelers and businesses.
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