In an effort designed to protect Americans from the ills of communism, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced it is implementing changes that will “channel economic activities” away from Cuba’s security infrastructure and impose travel and business limitations on Americans who travel there.
Cuba is the only country in the world (other than N. Korea) where Americans face tourism travel restrictions.
Americans planning to visit the island nation will have to travel with organized tour groups operated by U.S. companies. Travelers will also have to be accompanied by a representative of the sponsoring group. It is unclear whether the “minders” who must accompany (and presumably ) surveil U.S. travelers will be called to testify against Americans (persons of U.S. jurisdiction) who are under prosecution for violating U.S. travel restrictions.
For example, eating ropa vieja, a popular Cuban dish, in the wrong Havana restaurant could result in civil fines of $85,236.
Trump first announced his Cuba policy on June 16 but the Treasury Department is exempting trips that were booked before then. The new rules appear to favor the U.S. cruise industry.
The State Department released a list of hotels and other businesses that it says are associated with Cuba’s military. Americans are prohibited from engaging in business with them.
The new rules take effect Thursday and are a partial rollback of U.S. President Barack Obama’s restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba.