Travel to Cuba got a lot easier last year as then President Obama relaxed the policies regarding who can visit the isolated country. That in turn caused a rush for airlines to apply for and then launch service across dozens of routes. The amount of lift into the country has been staggering, to the point that some airlines are already cutting back.
Technically you still can’t visit as a tourist, but instead your travel needs to fit into one of about twelve broad categories. That said, it’s pretty easy for anyone to claim they are “supporting the Cuban people” during a visit, so in practice there don’t seem to be many barriers. And indeed, thousands of Americans are visiting Cuba these days. Ben visited back in December, and had a very interesting experience.
But now it seems Trump may be ready to undo these changes.
A reinstatement of the Cuban travel embargo?
But now The Daily Caller is reporting that President Trump may be set to announce a roll back of Obama’s policies. Apparently the administration has been working since February to review the Cuban policies at the urging of Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez, and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart:
His administration launched a “full review” of Cuban policy, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer told TheDC Sunday that there “are no updates on this issue at this time.”
Rubio and Rep. Diaz-Balart, however, have been publicly confident that Trump will bring back hardline policies against Cuba. The National Journal reported Wednesday that Diaz-Balart said he is “1,000 percent sure the president is going to deliver on his commitment.”
Supposedly the new policy could be announced as early as June during a Trump speech in Miami. That said, the Trump administration denies all of this.
My Cuban travel plans
I actually have plans to visit Cuba next month with a good friend, in celebration of my upcoming “round birthday.” I figured it would be a good opportunity to go somewhere off the beaten path where I’d be unlikely to take my family. And of course, I figured it would make for an interesting trip report, especially as we’re planning to stay in a Cuban casa that we found on Airbnb, rather than the Four Points by Sheraton like Ben.
Hopefully we’ll get in and out before any changes are made.
The Daily Caller is reporting that the Trump administration is on the verge of reinstating the Cuban travel embargo and that an announcement could come as early as June. Of course we’re also still waiting for an announcement regarding the laptop ban on flights originating in Europe — or possibly from the US too — and his other travel ban has plenty of its own issues. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what comes of this.
With tickets already booked to Cuba for next month, I’ll be sure to keep a close eye on the situation.
What do you make of the possibility of Trump reinstating a Cuban travel embargo?
(Hat Tip Boston Ben)