What you need to know about Cuba travel restrictions

We are all up in arms over the recent news that the Trump administration has banned cruise ship operations from the United States to Cuba eliminating “people-to-people” education travel for Americans.  Many have already complained of cancellations, re-routes, etc. for their upcoming cruises.  And many are still confused on what this all means, and how it will affect their travels.

Here’s what we know about the decision’s most significant travel impacts:

All US cruise ship travel has been banned by the Trump Administration.

On Tuesday Trump Administration told US cruise lines they had a little more than one day to reroute or get their ships out of Cuba.  Many cruise companies are offering customers money back or free cancellation of their cruises if they haven’t traveled yet.  Nearly 800,000 bookings were affected, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

The US is also eliminating the so-called people-to-people or educational activities category of travel.

The Obama administration allowed 12 categories of legal travel. People-to-people trips, which emphasized creating direct contact with the Cuban people through cultural activities, were the most popular.  The good news is that if you booked at least part of your trip before June 5, 2019, you can still go ahead and travel to Cuba. If you hadn’t made a booking, you are out of luck.

Can I still go to Cuba?

Yes! Eleven categories of legal travel to Cuba remain. They include family visits for Cuban-Americans, professional research, journalism, religious activities and athletic competitions.  The bottom line is the Trump administration wants to limit US travel to Cuba and the economic benefits that US visitors provide to the Cuban government.  A lot of Americans will find all these regulations confusing and simply decide not to go to Cuba, which is the outcome some officials in the Trump administration were clearly hoping for.

Why now when Previously, Trump had tried to open hotels in Cuba and didn’t seem opposed to dealing with the Cuban government?

Facing a narrow race in Florida, Trump reversed course and promised that state’s conservative Cuban exile population that he would overturn the Obama decisions.  There are also conspiracies that the Cuban government played a hand in several US diplomats falling severely ill in Havana.  The Cuban government denies any part.  However, the US is blaming Cuba for propping up the government of Nicolas Maduro, and believes they need to pressure them with sanctions to get Maduro out.

Overall, The Trump administration says too much of the money spent by American visitors goes to the Cuban government.

In an economy as tightly controlled as Cuba’s, it’s impossible that the government there won’t receive some of the money US travelers spend.

That said, there are now countless apartments and houses to rent that have been fixed up by Cubans and the best restaurants on the island are owned and operated by private entrepreneurs.  The increase in US visitors has led to an explosion in Cuba’s private sector. Guides, classic car rentals and other tourism-related businesses have emerged to meet the new demand.  These fledgling business people will be the ones who miss American visitors more than anyone. 

Many Black travelers have begun to give up on their travels to Cuba, due to hearing the news.  Considering Cuba has a great deal of African history, and many of the people on the island affirm some African ancestry—we know that many roots are there.  So, we encourage travels to the island and believe any African travelling there will be educated about a part of African history that is new to them.  It also affords us the opportunity to support Afro-Cubans on the island.  Now you see that there are still possibilities and have all the facts to better plan your trip! 

Make sure to visit our site for more travel experiences, news, tips and more at www.blackspaceapp.com–and don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to hear it all!

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