Trump Administration Tightens Cuba Travel Restrictions

Cienfuegos Cuba
Cienfuegos, Cuba // Photo by Vadim_Nefedov/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Have plans of traveling to Cuba? Listen up. On Wednesday, the Trump Administration imposed new restrictions, limiting nonfamily travel to the island, according to The New York Times. The new restrictions also limit the amount of money Cuban-Americans can send to their relatives on the island and come as part of a larger policy regarding stricter regulations with Latin America (specifically Venezuela and Nicaragua).

The limited travel is expected to seriously hurt the tourism sector on the island, Emilio Morales, who studies the Cuban economy for the Havana Consulting Group, said to The Times.

With that said, the details of the restrictions are not yet clear, as there are up to a dozen such categories of travel and the administration did not say whether these would be prohibited.

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According to Business Insider, the changes could affect both the cruise and air travel to Cuba that picked up after former president Barack Obama opened relations. The idea, says national security adviser John Bolton, is to “help steer Americans’ dollars away from the Cuban regime.” Many doubt that the restriction will hurt the Cuban government, saying that the changes would instead harm the Cuban people.

This isn’t the first instance of travel restrictions to Cuba enforced by President Donald Trump. Last year, his administration added 26 properties to the Cuba Restricted List, in addition to dozens of other businesses. Trump also nixed an agreement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation, saying the latter agency is a government body. The agreement would have made it easier for Cuban players to get to the States, which the MLB believed would end the defection of players and erase the trafficking of players that’s currently required for them to play here.

Earlier this year, Allianz Global Assistance released the findings of a survey of 1,500 Americans, noting that 75.5 percent are not interested in a trip to the country. This number was up slightly from 74.7 percent in 2018.

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