19 Jun 5 Points You Should Know About Trump’s Cuba Policy
On Friday, President Trump announced that he was reversing critical pieces of what he dubbed a “terrible and misguided deal” with Cuba. Trump aims to reinstate travel and commercial restrictions eased by the Obama administration in an effort to collect more concessions from Cuba.
Below are five points that you should know about Trump’s Cuba Policy:
LEGALITY – It’s still legal to travel to Cuba, however under Trump’s new restrictions, Americans will only be able to visit Cuba as part of a tour group if they want to go to the island for educational purposes.
Visitors will still be able to self-certify under a general license that they are traveling to Cuba for one of the few legitimate reasons. And Cuban-Americans will be able to continue to visit their family in Cuba and send them remittances, according to a fact sheet.
But those going for educational purposes will now need to apply with the Treasury Department and go with a licensed tour group – a process than can be far more lengthy and expensive, according to anti-embargo advocates.
SPENDING RESTRICTIONS – The new policy is prohibiting any financial transactions that benefit the Cuban military’s business arm, GAESA, in an effort to cut off the flow of American money to the tyrannical pieces of Raúl Castro’s regime.
The administration hopes that the ban on financial transactions with companies linked to the Cuban military will help funnel more money towards private Cuban businesses.
STRICT ENFORCEMENT – This new policy aims to step up the enforcement of the existing ban on tourism, which means travelers can expect to see stepped up questioning, either from customs agents at the airport or through post audits.
All visitors are required to maintain full schedules while in Cuba and keep detailed logs for five years – something that has been rarely checked.
FLIGHTS FROM THE US TO CUBA – Commercial flights, which were re-instated between the U.S. and Cuba last summer, will STILL be ALLOWED to continue uninterrupted under Trump’s new policy.
The good news is that the flights are still running but this doesn’t mean that flights may become harder to find if the travel demand decreases. Currently, there are seven carriers that hold non-stop routes from the U.S. to Cuba.
WHEN DOES THIS ALL TAKE EFFECT? – The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Treasury have 30 days to draft the new policy that Trump has directed.
Travelers who have already booked their arrangements to Cuba can still move forward with their plans, as long as the new regulations have not taken effect yet.
The Treasury Department is slated to outline the rules for booking trips before the new policy, but travel after the policy release.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your trusted travel partner at New Act Travel at (310) 201-0808.