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U.S. limits Cuba tourism

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/04/19, 01:05 pm

The Trump administration on Tuesday instituted new restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. “Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.” He specified the country’s support for President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela as a major reason for the restrictions.

Americans without a special exception have not been able to visit Cuba since President John F. Kennedy banned ordinary travel in 1963. President Barack Obama in 2011 allowed more tourism to Cuba, including “people-to-people” visits. The Treasury Department removed that exception, which allowed Americans to take culturally educational group trips to the island nation. The U.S. government will still allow journalists, college groups, researchers, and others with exceptions to the ban to travel to Cuba.

The U.S. Commerce Department listed “private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats, and other similar aircraft and vessels” as generally prohibited from Cuban travel. The list does not include commercial airliners. The rules take effect Wednesday, but the federal government will allow anyone who has already paid for a trip to proceed.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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