Trump administration announced new restrictions Wednesday on American travel and trade with Cuba. Their purposed effect is to steer economic activities away from the Cuban military, intelligence and security services.
Under the new rules, most individual visits to Cuba will no longer be allowed, and U.S. citizens will again have to travel as part of groups licensed by the Treasury Department for specific purposes, accompanied by a group representative. The State Department has also determined that many hotels, restaurants, stores and other enterprises in Cuba are intended to produce benefit for Cuban government and prohibited their use by Americans.
Cuba - 2017
Commercial relations with Cuba are to be similarly restricted to prevent any exchanges with the 180 entities on the State Department’s list. However, the new regulations, which will take effect Thursday, would not affect certain existing transactions as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodations before restriction. For businesses, all those who have signed contracts before publication may proceed with them. “We do not want U.S. dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba,” President Trump affirmed in a speech during his campaign. Engage Cuba, a national business coalition that supports lifting the embargo and expanding trade and travel, called the new regulations a “more convoluted, confusing and counterproductive approach to Cuba policy” that will hurt the Cuban private entrepreneurs it claims to be helping.