It does not matter the form or reason for travel, whether recreational or educational, the Trump administration has placed a ban on all travel to Cuba for all United States citizens.
A statement was put out by the Treasury Department Tuesday that the group known as “people to people” which holds cultural and educational trips to the island have been banned.
The group says they have 11 other options to use in place of Cuba so it will sting, but it may not be too bad. Thousands of Americans used the group to tour the island before diplomatic relations were fully restored in December 2014.
Even corporate and private boats and aircraft have been banned and will no longer be allowed to go to Cuba.
Commercial flights do not seem to be affected, and the only groups who will be allowed to go to the island will be groups for academic research, university groups, groups for professional meetings and journalism.
The Head of Cuba Educational Travel Collin Laverty stated, “It kills the people to people category, which is the most common way for the average American to travel to Cuba.” Cuba Educational Travel is known as the biggest Cuban travel businesses in the United States.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained the ban in this manner, “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. 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 U.S. dollars out of the hands of the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”
The National Security Adviser John Bolten has previewed the restrictions for the travel ban and had only spoken during a speech made to the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion veterans back in April in Miami, Florida.
The official public announcement was made Tuesday and will go into effect Wednesday after the sanctions are published in the Federal Register. Bolton also tweeted, “The Administration has advanced the President’s Cuba policy by ending ‘veiled tourism’ to Cuba and imposing restrictions on vessels.”
The cruise industry will be deeply affected by the travel ban. It affects Cuba’s economy, which is already crippled and will also hurt all U.S. travel businesses, which is associated with Cuba.
The U.S. Commerce Department stated there will be no grace periods for the cruise ships to change their destinations and it is causing passengers to be confused as to what to do.
One customer, Matthew Watkins, tweeted this morning, “Please tell me that my cruise to Cuba (in 18 days) is still going to be a cruise to Cuba.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises made the announcement its ships will no longer stop off in Cuba on Wednesday and Thursday, and future updates will be given to the public on cruise destinations.
Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line both stated they will have more information, “in the very near future.”
John Bolton also made this statement in reference to the currency, “We will continue to take actions to restrict the Cuban regime’s access to U.S. dollars.”
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel put out this statement today in a tweet, “We will not be intimidated. They have not been able to asphyxiate us, they will not be able to stop us, we will continue to live, and we will conquer.”
The United States said they wanted to support the business citizens of Cuba, but this makes twice the ropes were tightened on Cuba since Trump took office. The private sector will take a major blow in the process.
Business owner Miguel Angel Morales stated, “This is another hard blow. Around 50% of our business comes from cruise ships.”