Travel | June 5, 2019 8:38 am

New U.S. Travel Ban to Cuba Restricts Group Tours, Cruise Ships

Travel to Cuba for educational purposes are no longer permitted, too

Cuba travel
New travel restrictions to Cuba were set by the Trump administration on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/ Getty)
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Major new travel restrictions to Cuba were instituted by the Trump organization on Tuesday which effectively bans U.S. citizens from visiting the island nation via the two most common ways — organized tour groups that license Americans to travel to Cuba automatically and crush ships that dock there.

The new tourism rules, announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are a result of Cuba continuing “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,” Mnuchin said.

“Going forward,” the State Department added, “the United States will prohibit U.S. travelers from going to Cuba under the previous ‘group people-to-people educational’ travel authorization. In addition, the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, and private and corporate aircraft.”

The State Department said its move is meant to steer “American dollars away from the Cuban regime, and its military and security services, who control the tourism industry in Cuba,” according to CNN.

Commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba will still be allowed, however, as they “broadly support family travel and other lawful forms of travel.”

The U.S. eased several long-standing restrictions on Cuban travel under the Obama administration, which allowed educational tours, commercial air travel and cruises to the island. President Obama also reopened the American embassy in Havana, Cuba and allowed the country to reopen its own embassy in Washington D.C.

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