Ahead of an announcement from Washington tomorrow, details are starting to emerge regarding the policy as it relates to American citizens traveling to Cuba. The reversal of the policy first came to light a few weeks ago.
Under current rules, it became fairly easy for American citizens to qualify under 1 of 12 ‘reasons’ for traveling to Cuba, including humanitarian, religious, education, and healthcare provider categories.
With the new rules set to be unveiled tomorrow, Americans would no longer be allowed to travel to Cuba individually, but rather would need to be part of a group and have a very specific reason for going to Cuba. Tourism would not be one of those reasons. In addition, applications for travel to Cuba would be scrutinized severely as compared to the relatively lax process currently in place.
There was no indication if the announcement will include closing the US Embassy that was opened in Havana in 2015.
What if you have a ticket to Cuba for travel next week?
Don’t worry. People currently with plans to go Cuba can continue with their trip as scheduled. Tomorrow’s announcement will simply put in motion the process to change the policy and no dates have been announced as far as when the new rules would take effect. What will happen tomorrow is that the announcement will request that appropriate government agencies start working on new travel policies within 30 days in alignment with Trump’s directive, but not necessarily have anything in force until sometime after the 30 day window expires.
So go and enjoy your Cohiba Robustos and drams of Havana Club 15…….but hurry!
Related: Travel Ban To Cuba Set To Return?
Reuters has reported that President Trump will take the opportunity while in Miami next week to unveil new policies as it relates to relations with Cuba. It’s widely expected that a travel ban may be put back in place forbidding Americans from traveling to Cuba directly from the USA.
According to the article, the announcement by the president is expected on Friday, but may be delayed if certain details of the new policies are not completely worked out.
If you had thoughts of getting to Cuba, you better get going.
Related: Cuba travel at risk
‘Ban’ seems to be a very popular word lately…….
It appears that in the coming weeks, certain policies will be reversed that had allowed Americans to travel to Cuba.
The US State Department is reviewing the depth of the changes and the timing of enacting them. The biggest impact as far as I’m concerned will be the return of the travel ban that kept Americans from traveling to Cuba. Even though the current policy requires us to align with one of 12 reasons for traveling to Cuba, it is fairly easy to qualify for permission. That is about to change if the old rules are put back in place.
According to Washington, it appears that the reconsideration of our policies towards Cuba stem from Cuba’s lack of progress on human rights and the fact that a ‘Castro’ is still in power.
So if you have dreams of sipping Havana Club’s 15 year old Rum while drawing on a Cohiba as you watch the wonderful classic cars of the 50’s parade around Havana, you better get there, and fast!
Based on what I read, it appears that it will be only a matter of weeks before changes will take place.
Related: First American all-female general aviation ‘crew’ flies to Havana.