Monday 20 September 2021

US travel restrictions hit Cuba’s private sector

The US is no longer allowing people-to-people educational travel to Cuba. The Trump administration says that the Caribbean country has a "destabilizing role" in the region.

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The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed new travel restrictions on US citizens traveling to Cuba, including a ban on educational and recreational travel to the Caribbean country from the United States.

The US is no longer allowing people-to-people educational travel to Cuba. The Trump administration says that the Caribbean country has a “destabilizing role” in the region.

The Treasury Department said that the US will no longer allow “group people-to-people educational travel” and also banned the US export of boats and private planes to the Caribbean country.

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Travel agencies have been using the “educational travel” permit since the restoration of full diplomatic relations in 2014 to group tourists into “educational groups” to qualify for entry into Cuba.

The Trump administration had already banned individual visits and limited commercial interaction with Cuba. The new restrictions appear to leave commercial airline flights and visits for university groups, academic research, journalism and professional meetings unaffected.

Response to Cuba’s ‘destabilizing role’

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the bans punish Cuba’s “destabilizing role” in the region, including Cuba’s support for the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes,” he said.

“This administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help to keep US dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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