WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government announced new restrictions against Cuba on Wednesday, tightening sanctions as part of President Donald Trump’s pledge to roll back his Democratic predecessor’s move toward warmer ties with Havana.
A car with tourists drives past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
The changes, which take effect on Thursday, are aimed at preventing U.S. trade and travelers from benefiting its military, intelligences and security arms of the Communist-ruled country, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.
They will expand the list of Cuban government officials barred from transactions as well as set policy to deny exports to prohibited Cuban entities, Treasury said.
But the administration said it would still allow commercial transactions and most travel arrangements that have already been made before the changes to continue.
And while U.S. travelers will still be able to make authorized trips to Cuba, they will have to use a U.S.-based organization and be accompanied by a U.S. representative of the group, Treasury said.
The move comes after Trump in June ordered tighter restrictions against Cuba even as he left in place many of the changes former President Barack Obama made as part of his 2014 diplomatic breakthrough between the two former Cold War foes.
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas