The new policies will prohibit doing business with institutions controlled by Cuban military or intelligence and will end the "people to people" travel program, which the Obama administration laxly enforced and essentially allowed tourism. Airbnb recently reported that in just over two years, Cubans have earned almost $40 million by hosting tourists in their homes.
Those categories allowed Americans to travel to Cuba for educational, professional, humanitarian, sporting, artistic or trade purposes, but not for general tourism, but Trump administration officials said the policy was not carefully monitored and was abused to allow tourism.
The overall goal of the policy changes, officials said, is to "steer money away from the Cuban military and toward the Cuban people". "Officially, today, they are rejected".
Trump's new directives do not reinstitute the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that was ended by former President Barack Obama before leaving office earlier this year.
The Cuban government has made clear it will not be pressured into reforms in exchange for further engagement with the US. Travel to Cuba by USA airlines and cruise ships will continue, however.
However, diplomatic relations reestablished by Obama, including reopened embassies in Washington and Havana, will remain and travel and money sent by Cuban Americans will not be affected. Remittances to Cuba won't be cut off.
In a contentious internal debate, some aides argued that Trump, a former real estate magnate who won the presidency promising to unleash USA business and create jobs, would have a hard time defending any moves that close off the Cuban market. That means that any USA traveler now booked on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or even months, could go ahead and make the trip.
"You'll be very happy", Trump said in September.
Trump's new measures are created to exert more pressure on Havana to reform itself.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, typically supportive of GOP presidents, predicted the changes would limit prospects for "positive change on the island", while Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said Trump's policy was "misguided" and will hurt the U.S. economically.
President Donald Trump has announced a series of changes to the Obama-era Cuba policy and is challenging the Cuban government to negotiate a better deal.
"The president's one-sided deal for Cuba and with Cuba benefits only the Castro regime", Trump said during a campaign rally in Miami on Sep.
I'll be in Miami with the president of the United States who's going to be announcing strategic, targeted changes in U.S. Policy toward Cuba. Even among Cuban-Americans in South Florida, almost two-thirds want to lift the USA embargo.
Marco Rubio is scheduled to accompany Trump for a 1 p.m. event at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami's Little Havana. The trips were made easier by the resumption of scheduled commercial air service from the USA for the first time in decades. Only the U.S. Congress can lift it, and lawmakers, especially those of Cuban heritage, like Sen.
Senator Rubio and President Trump haven't laid out specifics, but some worry the administration will make it more hard to travel there.
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