Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump's Cuba policy a solution in search of a problem

Last week, I spent a couple days in Havana, Cuba on a people-to-people trip.  President Trump's new Cuba policy is a solution in search of a problem. As the Trump administration continues to work on rules to implement its new Cuba policy, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control issued clarifications on the U.S. interim policy, reported the Miami Herald.
When the President announced his new policy for the island in Miami on June 16, OFAC said that the only category of authorized travel by U.S. travelers that would be affected were individual people-to-people trips. Trump said such trips would be prohibited because travelers have used that category to disguise trips that are purely for tourism, which the U.S. prohibits.
But in its new “Frequently Asked Questions” publication, OFAC says: “The new policy will also impact certain categories of educational travel as well as travel under support for the Cuban people.” It didn’t elaborate.
The new FAQ also made it clear that people traveling to Cuba legally under permitted travel categories wouldn’t have to apply for licenses. Until the new rules are published, U.S. travelers may continue to visit Cuba under 12 categories of permissible travel that were outlined during the Obama administration.
Why wouldn't America want to have a relationship with a country 90 miles off its shore?
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