While details remain unclear, increased sanctions on Cuba by the Trump administration will likely further impact travel by U.S. citizens to the destination, the latest step in a reversal of thawing relations between the two countries.
According to The New York Times, the new policies (part of a sanctions announcement that also targets Venezuela and Nicaragua) will further restrict non-family travel to the island, in an effort to stop so-called “veiled tourism,” as described by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. Details of the restrictions were not detailed during the announcement this week; currently, there are a dozen categories under which U.S. citizens can travel to Cuba.
The government will also enable U.S. citizens to sue “any entity or person found to be ‘trafficking’ in property that was expropriated from U.S. citizens after the 1959 revolution,” by declining to waive a 23-year-old provision in U.S. policy, as was done by the previous three administrations.
The new restrictions are the latest in a reversal of former President Barack Obama’s Cuba policy, which eased a number of restrictions for U.S. citizens, including those related to travel.
While relations began to thaw under Obama in late 2014, a reversal on the policy began under the Trump administration; among those reversals was a 2017 declaration banning U.S. citizens from doing business with companies that are owned by the Cuban government, such as those owned or operated by Cuba’s government-owned Gaviota Group, as well as the group’s tour operator division.
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