President Trump’s New Restrictions on Cuba

In the case of Cuba, the Trump administration’s bark is worse than its bite.



With so much news happening last week, President Donald Trump’s proposed rollback of the Obama administration’s initiatives to regularize relations with Cuba and the US may have gone unnoticed.



In a speech to Miami’s Little Havana last Friday, President Trump had promised to cancel the Obama administration’s “completely one-sided deal” with Cuba. So what does that actually mean? Here are the details.


  • One of the bigger policy changes that the Trump administration wants to do is curb “private” travel to Cuba for personal or educational trips. So there isn’t any confusion, US tourism to Cuba (specifically commercial flights and cruise ships) will not be affected by the Trump administration’s rollback. Basically, if you want to go to Cuba on vacation, no one’s stopping you. If you want to fly a private plane to Cuba, that’s a no go.


  • In the Trump administration rollback, US companies and individuals will be barred from directly doing business with the Cuban military or intelligence agencies. However, private US companies will still be able to do business in Cuba.



And, that’s about it…


Under the Trump administration’s new provisions to Cuba: the embassies in each country will be operational, US telecommunication companies will still be able to create their infrastructure networks in Cuba, trade embargos will still not be lifted, and ect. In other words, the Trump administration’s rollback on Obama’s Cuba initiatives isn’t as severe as they make it out to be.


The biggest reason for the Trump administration not to rollback many of Obama’s initiatives revolves around American businesses already putting major financial investment into Cuba. At this point, rolling back the measures created by the Obama administration would cause businesses – like the hospitality and travel industries – to pushback against the Trump administration in the form of lobbying pressure or even worse, lawsuits. Considering the financial investments that have been made in Cuba by US-based companies on promises that the Obama administration made, it would be unwise for the Trump administration to completely reverse it. Political jockeying aside, the Obama administration’s Cuba policies look to safe from any substantive reversal.



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