US Renewing Licenses to Travel Agencies Organizing Trips to Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — An entity within the US Treasury Department has begun renewing licenses of some travel agencies that organize trips to Cuba, reported the Prensa Latina news agency.

According to the news article, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued licenses to some 20 companies, including Insight Cuba, Friendly Planet, Grand Circle Foundation, Geographic Expeditions and MotoDiscover.

Meanwhile, other institutions such as Smithsonian Journeys, National Geographic Expeditions, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Austin-Lehman are still awaiting their licenses.

Last May, the US government stepped up monitoring visits to the island and announced that the violation of its restrictions would be punished with fines of up to $65,000 and suspension of licenses.

Those provisions prohibit tours of recreational areas and financial transactions related to tourist activities.