More restrictions on travel from the United States to Cuba were revealed Tuesday in an announcement by the Department of Treasury.
The two major changes, which will go into effect Wednesday, highlighted by Treasury were:
▪ Group people-to-people educational travel — educational trips not linked to a degree program but done with an organization that’s subject to U.S. jurisdiction — will no longer be allowed as of Wednesday. Such trips already authorized will continue to be authorized if the traveler already had bought a plane ticket or made lodging reservations before Wednesday.
▪ No more exports of privately owned boats and planes.
“Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “This Administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”
U.S. Representative Donna Shalala released a statement disagreeing with President Donald Trump’s approach to Cuba:
“We must hold the Cuban regime accountable for its support of the illegitimate (Venezuelan leader Nicolás) Maduro, however, the Administration’s latest policies will do more harm than good for Cuban-Americans and their family members on the island.”
Collin Laverty, President of Cuba Educational Travel, accused Trump of engaging in “political theatre of claiming to get tough with Castro during visits to Calle Ocho,” while trying to figure out how to work with Cuban pols to make a buck on the island.
“This has nothing to do with empowering the Cuban people and has everything to do with empowering a handful of people in Florida that have never even been to Cuba,” Laverty said.
But U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart applauded the new restrictions.
Here’s the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s FAQ regarding Cuba