US bans cruise ship travel to Cuba amid new restrictions

Vintage Car in front of Empress of the Seas

[BBC] The US has announced a new ban on travel to Cuba for American group tours as well as cruise ships journeying to the island.

The move, which was announced by Trump administration officials, intends to roll back a US-Cuba thaw that began under President Barack Obama.

It is unclear exactly how the rules, which take effect on Wednesday, will impact travel to the island nation.

US officials say the new rules seek to punish the country’s communist regime.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Tuesday the measures come in response to Cuban efforts “to play a destabilising role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes”.

“This administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime,” Mr Mnuchin said.

“These actions will help to keep US dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”

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