New US gov’t rules restrict travel, trade with Cuba
WASHINGTON/HAVANA – Reuters
The U.S. government made it tougher on Nov. 7 for Americans to visit Cuba and do business in the country, making good on a pledge by President Donald Trump to roll back his Democratic predecessor’s move toward warmer ties with Havana.
The restrictions, which took effect yesterday, are aimed at preventing the military, intelligence and security arms of Cuba’s Communist government from benefiting from American tourists and trade, the White House said.
They fill in the regulatory detail on a Trump policy speech in June, in which the Republican president called for a tightening of restrictions. He said then that the Cuban government continued to oppress its people and former President Barack Obama had made too many concessions in his 2014 diplomatic breakthrough with Washington’s former Cold War foe.
The regulations include a ban on Americans doing business with some 180 Cuban government entities, holding companies, and tourism companies. The list includes 83 state-owned hotels, including famous hotels in Old Havana such as Ernest Hemingway’s erstwhile favorite haunt the Hotel Ambos Mundos, as well as the city’s new luxury shopping mall.