RE / AP
The Trump government ends a nearly two-decade program that was the most popular option for Americans to legally visit Cuba, banning all cruises and cruise ships.
The changes are designed to further pressure the Cuban economy while keeping the US dollar "out of the hands" of the Communist government. It comes into force on 5 June.
"This government has taken a strategic decision to reverse the easing of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime, which will help keep US dollars out of the hands of the Cuban military intelligence service. and security services, "said Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
Mnuchin, who joined Trump on his first state visit to Britain this week, added that Cuba, with a population of less than 12 million people, "continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere and provides communist support in the region and support US opponents in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua. "
US. Law firms travel to Cuba for tourist activities, but Americans are allowed to travel there in 12 approved categories, including individual and group travel, a subcategory of educational provision that allows visits to the socialist country for cultural and cultural purposes.
The expanded definition of this type of travel group was first established under President Bill Clinton. It was later restricted by President George W. Bush during his first term and significantly eased in 2011 under President Barack Obama.
In 2014, the Obama administration continued to rebuild diplomatic relations with Cuba. Two years later, he moved to reduce the license and paperwork requirements for tour operators, cruise ships and commercial air travel to the Caribbean island. Since then, "more than 2,203,490 passengers have traveled to the Republic of Cuba with more than 13,479 flights," the US Commerce and Trade Council said, citing statistics from the US Department of Transportation. And the Associated Press reported that cruises have become "the most popular form of US vacation travel to the island, bringing 142,721 people in the first four months of the year, an increase of more than 300% over the same period last year."  Obviously, commercial flights will continue to be allowed and "travel for university groups, academic research, journalism and professional meetings will continue to be allowed," said the news service.
"Cuba remains a Communist, and the United States has made too many concessions to one of our historically most aggressive opponents under the previous administration," Trade Minister Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
Ross added that the government is taking "action to restrict the business operations that bring revenue to the Cuban regime, and accountability to other countries remains a focus of this government and we will continue to be vigilant." The White House said in an email that " is closely monitoring these recent developments and their implications for cruises to Cuba."
"We will communicate to our guests and travel partners as additional information becomes available," the company added.
Collin Laverty, who heads an organization called Cuba Educational Travel, believes that the new restrictions on emerging Cuban companies will harm arrival via cruise ships, NPR said. "They eat in private restaurants, take private taxis, sleep in pensions, and empower the Cuban people."
He acknowledged that the Cuban government is ultimately benefiting from such transactions, but also millions of Cuban households, he argued. "And they will suffer from these changes."
According to the US Department of State, those with travel plans will be in "grandfather". Other categories that enable travel are still available, including faith-based travel, humanitarian projects, and the nebulous support of the Cuban people. "