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article imageTrump slaps new restrictions on American travel to Cuba

By Ken Hanly     Jun 5, 2019 in Business
For more than half a century Cuba has suffered from a US embargo that prevents the export of most goods from the US and also restricted tourism until easing of restrictions on Americans visiting the island by Obama who somewhat normalized relations.
Trump renews and strengthens many bans
Trump has already been unhappy with the easing of restrictions that Obama had introduced. Trump is also angry that Cuba has supported the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro and the new restrictions are meant to punish Cuba for doing so.
The new restrictions
The new restrictions target educational trips, as well as Americans taking cruise ships that stop at Cuba as it forbids all cruises from stopping In Cuba for recreational purposes. There was not even any grace period for ships that are already en route to Cuba. The Trump Administration has made clear that their anger toward Venezuela’s government also extends to Cuba, and this was shown again today with the administration imposing new restrictions to prevent Americans ever setting foot on Cuban soil.
The new restrictions target educational trips as well as cruise ships, and all cruise ships are forbidden from stopping in Cuba for recreational purposes. There was no grace period for ships already en route. Carnival Corp said they wont be going to Cuba but will go somewhere else. Some have said that the Trump administration had an interest in punishing companies that had resumed operations in Cuba.
Some reports claimed the move was meant to punish Cuba for its ties to Venezuela.
Visits on cruise ships and by other means had grown
A recent USA Today
article notes: "Cruise travel from the U.S. to Cuba began in May 2016 during President Barack Obama’s opening with the island. It has become the most popular form of U.S. leisure travel to the island, bringing 142,721 people in the first four months of the year, a more than 300% increase over the same period last year. For travelers confused about the thicket of federal regulations governing travel to Cuba, cruises offered a simple, one-stop, guaranteed-legal way to travel."
That now appears to be over as of Wednesday as announced by the Commerce Dept with an estimated 800,000 cruise passenger bookings affected, according to cruise industry group Cruise Lines International Association. Recreational and pleasure vessels are banned as well.
More about Cuba US relations, cuba embargo, Donald trump
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