by Mark Albert
WASHINGTON (TVR) – Pres. Trump on Friday announced a rollback of the Obama-era thaw with Cuba, re-imposing restrictions on business relationships, military cooperation, and travel, which will curtail some of the trips Americans take to the island nation.
“We will enforce the ban on tourism,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd at Miami’s Manuel Artime Theater in Little Havana.
“The previous administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people. They only enrich the Cuban regime,” the president said.
“The profits from investments and tourism flows directly to the military… We do not want U.S. dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba,” Pres. Trump explained.
After his 32-minute speech, Trump then signed the Cuba travel policy directive on the stage, surrounded by Cuban exiles and supporters.
Watch the president’s speech below.
New Restrictions on Cuba Travel
After what is expected to be a 90- to 120-day transition period, American travelers to Cuba will no longer be able to spend money in hotels or restaurants that are state owned and controlled by the military, which is a substantial part of the communist country.
While U.S. citizens are already barred from visiting for tourism, the Trump administration says its new policy “enhances travel restrictions” to more strictly audit Americans who travel to Cuba to ensure they comply with one of the 12 allowed categories of approved trips, including visiting relatives, educational or research purposes, and journalism.
Travel for non-academic educational purposes “will be limited to group travel” from approved organizations, according to a fact sheet released by the White House during the president’s remarks.
That makes “self-directed, individual travel” allowed under the Obama-era rules “prohibited,” the document states.