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Trump curtails US travel to CubaTrump curtails US travel to Cuba

Speech delivered in Miami

President Donald Trump announced in a June 16 speech in Miami that the federal government will reinstitute regulations restricting U.S. travel to and business in Cuba.

In a Miami speech June 16, President Donald Trump has closed travel to Cuba. AOPA staff photo.

Trump tweeted that the change will “empower the Cuban people and hold the regime accountable.”

In his speech, Trump referenced the 1996 incident in which two Cessna Skymasters carrying Americans working with the humanitarian group Brothers to the Rescue were shot down by a Cuban MiG-29 in international airspace.

In 2015, President Barack Obama relaxed the restrictions that were first instituted during the Kennedy Administration. Since then, a number of U.S.-based general aviation travelers have visited the Caribbean island nation.

Craig Spence, secretary general of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, explained that the restrictions will not go into effect until the new regulations are published, a number of which will hinder GA travel to Cuba.

“The biggest change for Cuba-bound GA travelers will be the tightening of the people-to-people license, which is what most are currently utilizing,” Spence said.

According to a Department of the Treasury document on the new regulations, “The President instructed Treasury to issue regulations that will end individual people-to-people travel.”

Spence also said that new restrictions prohibiting business with entities owned by the military will further limit GA travel to Cuba.

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Caribbean, International Travel

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