President Trump restricting business and travel to Cuba

President Trump restricting business and travel to Cuba. Image Courtesy: Pool.

President Donald Trump on Friday announced in Miami that the United States will again enforce trade and business embargos as well travel restrictions when it comes to Cuba.

The move reverses President Obama’s policies that lifted economic and travel sanctions in the efforts to build better relations with the communist island nation.

“The previous administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people,” President Trump said. “They only enrich the Cuban regime.”

President Trump was forceful against Cuba, who he accused of violating human rights, suppressing political opponents, and harboring terrorists.

“For nearly six decades, the Cuban people have suffered under communist domination,” President Trump said. “To this day, the Cuban people are ruled by the same people who killed tens of thousands of their own citizens.”

President Trump said the restrictions will remain in place until such time Cuba changes its policies on human rights, equality, freedom, and political openness.

“We do not want the U.S. dollar to prop up military monopoly that exploits and abuses the people of Cuba,” President Trump said.

While the President’s action Friday renews restrictions, it does not stop trade and travel altogether.

Americans will still be able to board ships and planes and travel to Cuba, but other previous rules, that include the requirement of travel for 1 of 12 specific purposes, such as journalism, religious, or family purposes.

In a statement to CBS12, American Airlines says it is reviewing the new order, but does not anticipate any impact to their operations: “As a global airline, American is committed to continuing to operate service to Cuba. We are reviewing the executive order to understand any potential impacts to our customers or our current service. We will continue to comply with federal law and work with the Administration to update our policies and procedures regarding travel to Cuba as necessary. Until the new regulations are in place, the current travel policy will remain in effect, including travel requirements for our customers, who must obtain a visa to travel to Cuba. However, future changes in regulation may affect travel initiated from today forward. We urge all customers who are planning travel to Cuba to closely monitor updates from the U.S. government,” an American Airlines statement said.

Meanwhile, Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement: “Carnival Corporation is pleased that the policy changes announced by the Trump administration will allow our ships to continue to sail to Cuba. We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we first undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago. Our experience in Cuba this past year has been extremely positive. We look forward to new cruises being planned for Cuba with Carnival Cruise Line and Holland American Line. We also have requested approval for our other brands to travel to Cuba.”

JetBlue issued this statement: "JetBlue is committed to continuing air service between the U.S. and Cuba. We plan to operate in full compliance of the president’s new policy. We will review the policy and the specific regulations once they are available to determine any impact to our operations or to our customers."

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