President Donald Trump is set to announce increased restrictions toward Cuba on Friday after a nearly five-month review of the U.S.policy.
During his campaign, Trump promised to crack down on the communist regime, The Hill reports.
The new constraints are aimed at restricting tourism and funds directed toward the Cuban military, but he won’t be fully reversing diplomatic and commercial ties with the country.
Trump will also unveil a series of “very specific benchmarks” in a speech in Miami on Friday that Cuban President Raul Castro needs to meet in order to negotiate with the U.S., according to White House officials on Thursday.These expectations include releasing political prisoners, free elections, and direct pay to Cuban workers.
Trump is expected to leave the U.S. embassy in Havana and will not bring back the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed Cuban migrants who made it to the U.S. to stay in the country, a policy that his predecessor Barack Obama eliminated in the final days of his presidency.
Among the new restrictions likely to impact Americans, Trump will forbid individual educational trips to Cuba.
Since Obama’s historic effort in his second term to normalize relations with Cuba, Americans have been allowed to travel to the island nation under 12 different categories of travel with just a general license. Tourism to the island is still strictly prohibited, but White House officials said that enforcement of the ban has been trailing.
Trump’s new directive “will include ending the individual, people-to-people travel” sub-category, senior officials told reporters.
“There are 12 categories of travel that are permitted still, but the individual people-to-people travel is one that has the highest risk of potential abuse”, according to White House officials.
Commercial flights, which resumed for the first time in 50 years last summer, will still continue between the U.S. and Cuba. And Americans can still self-certify under a general license that they are traveling to Cuba for legitimate reasons. White House officials also noted that Americans can still bring Cuban cigars back from their trip.