From 🙌 to 😱
1. It sucks.
When the Obama administration allowed to travel to Cuba on individual “people-to-people” trips, online lodging company Airbnb was allowed into Cuba, and commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba resumed after more than half a century. As a result, U.S. travel to Cuba roughly tripled by the time Obama left office. U.S. travelers are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts that are driving the growth and rebirth of Cuba’s emerging private sector.
Trump rolls back the solo the “people-to-people” education policy. Meaning no down time by the pool, snorkeling some of the world’s best-preserved coral reefs or lounging on the island’s pristine beaches.
2. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Yes; you can still go, here’s how.
The new policy eliminates individual trips outside of 12 authorized categories. Group travel is allowed. But, I don’t mean you + your squad = group. I’m talking licensed tightly regulated group tours. Expect prices to rise $$$$. And, Americans will now be subjct to Treasury Department audit with bigly fines issued for violations. Ugh.
Direct U.S. -Cuba commercial flights, and cruise line routes will continue.
3. The New Regulations haven’t taken effect.
Travel to Cuba won’t be changing soon. While Trump announced Friday that he is “immediately” canceling Obama’s deal with Cuba, the roll back relies on a presidential memorandum which gives the government 90 days before it even starts to rewrite Cuba travel regulations, meaning it could be many months or a year. What are you waiting for? Book your ticket *stat*.
4. The Cigar Lady ain’t having it. You can still find her in the City sitting on the steps. But don’t go at 1pm when she breaks for lunch. A Lady has to eat, okay?.
5. Who the world is OFAC? Any relation to Covfefe?
Well, kinda, sorta. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is a division of the US Department of the Treasury, which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions.
6. Don’t stay in Military owned hotels or housing. Huh? Yes, it’s a thing. But don’t do it or you will face a hefty fine. The Treasury Department is not playing with you.
Much of Cuba’s hotel and tourism industry is run by companies controlled by the Cuban military, GAESA is the Cuban military’s business and commerce wing. The thing is the company is run by Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, Raul Castro’s son-in-law. Wait, there’s more. Gaviota, GAESA’s tourism arm, currently operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana.
U.S. citizens will be prohibited from staying in U.S.-based hotels that operate in Cuba in partnership with the Cuban government.
This new, more restrictive policy will surely dampen new economic ties to Cuba. And Cubans who have increased their participation in tourism will especially suffer. *Tries not to cry, fails*
The good news is there are no plans to change the amount of the island’s rum and cigars that Americans can bring home for personal use. 🙌 🙌 🙌