The Trump Administration Just Passed Another Restriction on Travel to Cuba

The Trump Administration continues to reverse the thaw

American Flights to Havana
By Tanner Garrity / October 28, 2019 12:51 pm

If President Trump has made good on any of his early-term promises, it’s re-restricting American travel to Cuba. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration took the most commonly used visa — “people-to-people” — out of commission, and outright banned cruise ships from porting at the island nation.

The restrictions have only continued. Last week, in a message meant to punish Cuba for its support of Venezuela (which the United States imposed a total economic embargo on earlier this year), the Trump Administration has banned American flights to any Cuban city not named Havana. Within the next 45 days, American carriers that were flying to Cuba’s nine other airports, from the southeastern city of Cienfuegos to the resort town of Varadero, will have to cancel their routes entirely, and decide how many extra flights they want to run direct to Havana.

At face value, this isn’t a huge game-changer. Airlines had largely stopped flying to non-Havana destinations (except for American and JetBlue), as interest in visiting the country has waned. But it’s due to headlines like this one, that interest waned in the first place. In short, the Trump Administration has successfully made travel to Cuba a massive hassle.

You now need a “support for the Cuban people” visa, if you’re not a journalist or athlete, to visit the country. The easiest way to get one is to travel with a tour group, which unfortunately will hold you to a strict itinerary while there. No mojitos at brunch. The spontaneity associated with Cuban travel in the first half of the decade has been taken away, and replaced with fine print. It will take a new administration for the island to officially open again to American travelers.

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