President Trump Imposes Cuba Travel Restrictions

US citizens are barred from conducting educational and cultural trips to Cuba, and US cruise ships can no longer dock there.

Cuba

President Donald Trump has imposed more stringent restrictions on US citizens traveling to Cuba in an attempt to isolate the country’s communist neighbor.

Under the new restrictions, US citizens may not conduct educational and cultural trips to Cuba, nor can US cruise ships stop at the island.

However, the US government stopped short of restricting commercial flights to Cuba.

Analysts see the new policy is a roll-back of Obama-era efforts to improve relations with Havana.

Cruise travel had become popular among US citizens wanting to visit Cuba, which lies around 90 miles off the Florida coast.

Some 142,721 US travelers used cruise ships to travel to the island in the first four months of this year, according to AP.

US relations with Cuba have deteriorated significantly under Trump, with the US accusing the  country of propping up its adversaries in the region, such as Venezuela and Nicaragua.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the restrictions are a result of Cuba continuing “to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes.”

Former President Barack Obama had hoped that lifting sanctions against the island would free Cubans from the shackles of dictatorial regime, putting pressure on the communist rulers to adopt democratic approaches.

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1 comment

  1.    Reply

    The rights of American citizens to travel and of cruise lines and tour operators to make it happen have been stolen to satisfy an ideological agenda of a minority of Cuban Americans.

    National Security Adviser John Bolton has a decades-long record of hostility to Cuba, not least his effort with false accusations of biological warfare research to undermine former President Carter’s ground breaking trip to Havana in support of democratization.

    A bigger factor is the hard line from Mauricio Claver-Carone, head of the NSC’s Western Hemisphere office. Claver-Carone created the shibboleth of “veiled tourism” during the Obama Administration when he was the principal lobbyist in Washington for conservative Cuban-Americans, producing the Capitol Hill Cubans blog and heading the US-Cuba Democracy PAC that funneled millions of dollars to Republican and Democratic candidates nationwide.

    With Bolton and Claver-Carone dominating the Trump Administration’s Latin America policy, the only option for cruise companies and airlines as well as for American citizens who favor freedom of travel and engagement with Cuba is to press Congress to end all travel restrictions. A bipartisan majority is possible in both the House and Senate, reflecting the support for travel by 81% of Americans and 57% of Cuban Americans.