The new rules come nearly five months after President Donald Trump announced that he would reverse polices made by President Barack Obama to loosen the trade embargo against the Spansih speaking Caribbean nationl.
But the Trump government says the core of Obama’s policies will remain intact.
Under new Treasury Department rules, individual “people-to-people” trips which have enabled American travelers to visit Cuba for educational purposes on their own as opposed to with a tour group — will be eliminated.
Educational group trips must be arranged through a licensed organization that is “subject to U.S. jurisdiction,” and travelers must be accompanied by a person who represents the organization and is also subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
Tourism to the island is still strictly prohibited, but Trump administration officials have said that people have been skirting the ban by abusing the people-to-people category and designing their own trips, instead of going with a tour group.
The changes come at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Havana over what the U.S. government has described as “sonic attacks” against its diplomats in Cuba.
The Cuban government has said it did not carry out the attacks against American representatives, but the Trump administration says Havana is ultimately responsible for ensuring diplomats’ safety.
- Countries: Cuba