Jun 4, 2019

Trump administration to enforce new Cuban travel restrictions

Photo: Yamil Lage/Getty Images

The Trump administration introduced regulations on Tuesday for U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba — prohibiting some educational, cultural and recreational tours, PBS reports.

What they're saying: “This administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services."

“Cruise ships as well as recreational and pleasure vessels are prohibited from departing the U.S. on temporary sojourn to Cuba effective tomorrow.”
— the Commerce Department, per a statement to AP

The Treasury Department, in a statement, explained that the U.S. will no longer allow group trips dubbed "people to people" travel to Cuba. The U.S. will also deny requests for private and corporate planes and boats, though commercial flights remain impervious to the restrictions for now. Tours for media, college groups and academic research, as well as professionally oriented meetings, will still to be permitted, according to PBS.

  • The new restrictions are expected to go into effect on Wednesday.

Why now: Mnuchin explained that the move follows what he described as Cuba's "destabilizing role" in the Western hemisphere, which includes the nation's ongoing support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's regime.

Context: The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in late 2014. Cruise travel from the U.S. to Cuba began in May 2016, per AP.

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