US President Donald Trump announced (16-Jun-2017) plans to update the US policy on Cuba to achieve the following four objectives: enhance compliance with US law, hold the Cuba regime accountable for oppression and human rights abuses, further national security and foreign policy interests, and lay the groundwork for empowering the Cuban people. Key policy changes will include:
- Channeling economic activities away from the Cuban military monopoly, including most travel-related transactions. American individuals and entities will be allowed to develop economic ties to the private, small business sector in Cuba;
- Enhancing travel restrictions to better enforce the statutory ban on US tourism to Cuba. Travel for non-academic educational purposes will be limited to group travel. Individual, self-directed travel permitted by the Obama administration will be prohibited;
- Reaffirming the US statutory embargo of Cuba;
- Clarifying that any further improvements in the US-Cuba relationship will depend "entirely on the Cuban government’s willingness to improve the lives of the Cuban people".
The policy memorandum directs the Treasury and Commerce Departments to begin the process of issuing new regulations within 30 days. [more - original PR]