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In truth, Trump’s Cuba policy is not a reversal. It maintains almost all of the major features of the Obama policy: commercial flights and cruise ship trips to Cuba will continue; cash remittances can be sent regularly by Cuban-Americans to their families; Cuba will remain off the list of state sponsors of terror; areas of cooperation in medicine, sciences, and counter-terrorism will continue; and full diplomatic relations will remain, with official embassies in both Cuba and the United States.
One area that will be impacted is American tourism to the island.
Since the Soviet Union and Venezuela ended their subsidies to Cuba, which for decades had shored up the country’s failing economy, the Cuban government increasingly has turned to tourism to fill the shortfall. Trump wants to deprive the regime of profiting from this growing sector, especially when more and more Americans are headed there and now make up the second largest group of visitors behind Canadians.
From now on, Americans will be barred from doing business with hotels under majority control of a management company run by the military — called GAESA — that controls most of Cuba’s tourist industry. This includes staying in their rooms, eating at their restaurants, or attending shows, as well as eating in state-run restaurants.