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.

"Veiled tourism has served to line the pockets of the Cuban military, the very same people supporting Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and repressing the Cuban people on the island,"

US State Department
Cuban Tourism
Cuba has become a popular destination for US tourists

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 Ship in Havana
Cruise Ship departing Havana, Cuba

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. 

Tourists explore the streets of Havana

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. 

"It kills the people-to-people category, which is the most common way for the average American to travel to Cuba."

Collin Laverty, Head of Cuba Educational Travel

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