The Trump administration has announced new restrictions on Americans travel to Cuba including banning cruise ship stops and group tours.
The changes are meant to put economic pressure on the Cuban government for its repression of the Cuban people and its support of the Maduro regime in Venezuela said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The Treasury Department said in a statement that the U.S. will no longer allow the group educational and cultural trips known as “people-to-people” travel to the island.
Effective Tuesday, cruise ships, private and corporate aircraft, private yachts and fishing boats will now be barred from traveling to Cuba, according to the Commerce Department. However, commercial airline flights appear to be unaffected at this time. Travel for university groups, journalism, academic research and business meetings will be allowed.
Cruise ships in particular have brought thousands of Americans to Cuba and have provided an important economic lifeline to the island.
Cuban government statistics show that 142,721 Americans arrived on cruise ships between Jan. 1 and April 30, more than the 114,832 who came by commercial plane.
It’s unclear if existing cruise reservations will have to be canceled at this time. Cruise lines and the commerce department have yet to comment on the matter.
This new ban has gone a step further than the restrictions that were in place prior to President Barack Obama’s attempt to repair relations which made it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba.