travel to cuba

Trump Administration Tightens Cuba’s Sanctions Program 

Since June 2017, we have been anxiously awaiting changes to the Cuba sanctions program since President Trump signed an executive order and emphatically stated that his administration would tighten loose regulations established under the Obama Administration.

On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated,

  • “We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) has implemented the Treasury-specific changes via amendments to its Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), codified at 31 C.F.R. 515. Similarly, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has implement necessary changes via amendments to its Export Administration Regulations (EAR), codified at 15 C.F.R. 730-746.

Additionally, the State Department has established corresponding initiatives to implement the policy changes promulgated by OFAC and BIS that target impeding economic activities from the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services. OFAC, BIS, and the State Department have taken steps to ensure policy implementations maintain opportunities for Americans to engage in authorized travel to Cuba and support the private, small business sector in Cuba.

The policy changes are effective TODAY, November 9, 2017, pursuant to Federal Register Notice.

The OFAC has already provided a three page FACT SHEET on its website discussing the main questions and answers you are likely pondering yourself. Here is a summary of the main changes:

Financial Transactions

  • The Embargo […]

President Trump Outlines New U.S. Policy on Cuba

We’ve been patiently waiting for today’s announcement since President Trump took office on Friday, January 20, 2017. Some have speculated on whether President Trump’s stance on Cuba would further diplomatic relations following the steps of former President Barack Obama, while the majority have opined that Trump’s next steps could reverse some of the changes made by the former President. The speculation can now be put to the side as today President Trump delivered a speech in Miami (at the Manuel Artime Theater), a little over 90 miles away from the island of Cuba, outlining his new policy with the communist island. The announced changes do not take effect until the new OFAC regulations are issued. The forthcoming regulations will be prospective and will not affect existing contracts and licenses.  

Here is a summary of the MAIN changes, and background of why the President has signed an executive order making these changes in support of the Cuban people:

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By |2022-07-07T12:17:07-04:00June 16, 2017|Cuba, Export, International Travel|3 Comments

Build Your Own ‘People to People’ Mission & More Cuba Changes

 

If you have been following our Cuba updates, you’ll note we’ve been busy. A full listing of all of our posts to get you caught up are all the way at the bottom. Here’s the Cliff Notes version:

  • On December 17, 2014, President Obama made a historic announcement: “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.”
  • By January 16, 2015, both the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations with a “Support for the Cuban People” license exception. Both OFAC and BIS’s new rules were effective as of January 16, 2015.
  • OFAC and BIS issued additional new rules on June 15, 2015, September 21, 2015, January 27, 2016 and again today!

As far as travel goes, the NY Times posted their travel tips, but, here are MY travel tips to you:

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Up to 110 Daily Flights from the U.S. to Cuba

 

If you are in aviation – commercial or private – there are potential new business opportunities in Cuba. The American government and our new friendly neighbor to the south, the Republic of Cuba last sat at the negotiation table to discuss Air Transportation agreements in 1957, as parties to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Nearly sixty years later, on February 16, 2016, the United States government and Cuba entered into an aviation agreement, the U.S.-Cuba Memorandum of Understanding of February 16, 2016, and intend to apply the basis of comity and reciprocity of the agreement.

Immediately after, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez, Cuban Minister of Transportation and Colonel Alfredo Cordero Puig, President of the Cuban Civil Aviation Institute (IACC), Ministry of Transportation  signed the agreement, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) encouraged U.S. air carriers to apply for licensing and authorization to offer flights to Cuba.

While there have been no scheduled flights between the United States and Cuba for over half a century, this agreement grants permission to American and Cuban airlines, cargo and passenger aircrafts, to perform scheduled and charter services between American and Cuban ports for the purposes of international air transportation.

At the outset, countries are able to operate flights to and from the other country (one-way or round-trip flights); combine different flight numbers; make layovers outside of the U.S. or Cuba or within either country, amongst other permissions.

Interestingly enough, […]

Top 10 Changes with Cuba as a Result of MORE NEW Revised OFAC and BIS Regulations

BIS and OFAC AND CUBAAs of January 27th, 2016, both OFAC and the BIS have amended their regulations again, and below details the top 10 changes as a result.  The last update was on September 21, 2015, and can be found here.  While the United States maintains its broad embargo on trade with Cuba, OFAC and BIS have released amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations designed to advance President Obama’s policy to engage and empower the Cuban people.  The new changes, which can be found here and here, expand the scope of authorized business and travel by U.S. person and companies inside of Cuba. These changes were put into place to help facilitate engagement between the U.S. and Cuba.  Click here to read FAQ’s related to Cuba from the OFAC.

Below we’ve providing you with a detailed summary of the top 10 significant changes:

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