US Tightens the Noose on Cuba to Hurt Tourism and Imports

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – The United States on Friday announced a further tightening of restrictions on Cuba’s access to commercial aircraft and other goods.

The move supports the Trump administration’s earlier decision to hold the Cuban regime accountable for repressing its citizens and continuing to provide support to Venezuela, the Commerce Department said in a news release.

“This action by the Commerce Department sends another clear message to the Cuban regime – that they must immediately cease their destructive behavior at home and abroad,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in the statement.

The administration “will continue to act against the Cuban regime for its misdeeds, while continuing to support the Cuban people and their aspirations for freedom and prosperity.”

The department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has revoked licenses for aircraft leases to Cuban state-owned airlines. Cuba has been using the leased aircraft to transport tourists, providing revenue for the regime’s illicit activities, it added.

The BIS is also expanding sanctions to include more foreign goods containing US content and is imposing additional restrictions on exports to the Cuban regime.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has stepped up sanctions on Cuba, including a ban on former president Raul Castro from entering the United States, and limiting remittances to the island.

Cuba has pledged to maintain its support to Venezuela despite stepped-up US pressure.

Trump has been rolling back a US-Cuba detente introduced under his predecessor, Barack Obama.  At the time, Cuba also sharply criticized Obama’s overtures after a scathing statement from Fidel Castro just eight months before his death in Havana.


17 thoughts on “US Tightens the Noose on Cuba to Hurt Tourism and Imports

  • Cuba’s biggest gang is known as the “CDR” !

  • Curt: I Know first Hand of the Crimes & The Gangs are in all of Cuba, So Please STOP Talking about what you do not understand fully. Once you have stayed a Night in a Cuban Police Station then you can See & Hear More of The Real Cuba. What do you think the People of Cuba Living in FEAR all these years, Are they really any different then the Drug addicted from the streets of other Nations. When you have Talked from the Men that returned from Angola & Hear The Other Voices of Cuba We can just start to understand. Listen To The People, The Elder,s have something to Stay To The World if We will Just Listen. Once The World Removes it,s Blinder,s to Cuba We Will All Be Shocked what Forced Controls have been taking place for so many years just 90 miles away from the strongest Freest Nation the World Has ever Known, OTHER Then Canada. Possibly The work of Trump is Not perfect But He is Doing Something that No Man has Before Him. No Person Shall be Controlled from a Form of Communist. Would We Live as the people of Cuba do By our Chooses. I Think Not.

  • It does not matter whether the airplanes are owned by American companies or foreign companies. The sanctions apply to any company that deals with Cuba. So, if a foreign company is leasing a plane to Cuba, it will be sanctioned by the U.S. The foreign company will need to decide whether it is more important to lease a plane to Cuba, or to continue other business with the U.S. Obviously, virtually every foreign company will prefer to maintain its economic relations with the U.S., than with Cuba.

  • What is it with Cuba? Just leave Venezuela alone and get on with life! Allow the Venezuelan people to determine their own fate.

  • Repeatin in English the previous reply, in case Havanatimes publishes them:
    Olgasintanales: I will reply to you in Spanish, in case you are really Cuban and might be a woman, ’cause there are so many internet trolls, that it’s really hard to tell when someone is this or that or nothing at all. In Cuba we don’t have the workers class democracy that we, the deep socialists, would like to have. Still, we don’t have a dictatorship, because we elect the candidates to the National Assembly from the very bases of the neighborhoods, most of them, together with a small portion elected from the different working sectors. The Communist Party cannot and is not allowed to nominate or elect candidates, by the Constitution, and not only the present one, but even from the previous approved by a massive plebiscite since 1976. It is the population electing the candidates, directly and the political campaign and propaganda is forbidden, to avoid advantages for those that might have better financial support, who knows coming from where…. That is so much closer to a true democracy compared to that PLUTOCRACY of the US, where hundreds of millions dollars are spent on a presidential campaign… while so many are homeless and without medical care. That plutocracy of the Democrat and Republican Parties, so close to each other regarding the decisions of bombing any country to take hold of their strategic resources. You live in the US and probably in Miami? Congrats to you. Try to work and earn your living, and of course your salary will be more real than the salaries we the Cubans earn. But here comes the most logic thought for you: if you say so much, all the time, that socialism is a failure and takes every country to ruin by itself, and of course, you always repeat that the blockade is not that harmful and it’s just a justification, then why don’t they deprive us of this so-called justification and lift the infamous blockade against Cuba? Come on, deprive us of this big justification, and let’s see what happens. Be coherent to yourselves and lobby to lift the blockade against Cuba. Obama never did so, only allowed the US citizens to travel to Cuba and continued the specifics small trades of certain products, like some rice. Trump has wiped all that away and the US Navy is harassing oil tankers coming to Cuba in international waters. Come on, be human and lobby against this infamous chasing down of our economy.

  • Olgasintanales: Te respondo en español por si eres realmente cubana, si es que además eres mujer, porque ya son tantos los trolls, que nunca se sabe. En Cuba no hay la democracia obrera que quisiéramos los más profundos socialistas, pero tampoco hay una dictadura, ni de lejos, porque la Asamblea Nacional la elegimos en los barrios y el Partido Comunista no tiene autorizado ni la nominación o postulación ni la elección de candidatos, que salen mayormente de los barrios y una parte menor de los sectores laborales del país. Es la población la que elige y además la campaña electoral mediática está prohibida, para impedir que si hay candidatos con más posibilidades financieras puedan tener un predominio sobre los más sencillos salidos del pueblo. Eso está muchísimo más cerca de una democracia, que significa gobierno del pueblo, que la PLUTOCRACIA de multimillonarios de los Partidos Demócrata y Republicano, tan parecidos cuando de bombardear otros países se trata. ¿Vives en EE.UU. y probablemente en Miami? Felicidades, trata de trabajar y ganarte la vida y por supuesto tu salario será más real que el que tenemos los cubanos en Cuba. Pero aquí va el pensamiento más lógico, a ver si me puedes responder: si tanto dicen que el socialismo es un fracaso y lleva a la ruina por sí mismo, y que el bloqueo es una justificación, ¿por qué no nos quitan la maldita justificación y nos levantan el bloqueo? Vamos, vamos, quítennos la justificación, a ver a cómo tocamos.

  • Cuban “regime”…. Always the US interests driven terminology. The actual REGIME is that of the fyellascist governing the US behind the curtains and their powerful puppets of the White House and the Capitol. That is a REGIME, the one which attacks, and blockades and insert proxy mercenaries-terrorists all around the world against any country lead by a government that does not bow the head before their imperialism and fascism. The US is the one with a REGIME and their PUPPETS are the SATRAPS all around the world, impoverishing the vast majorities of so many countries, yelling the so-called liberalism, when they are actually anti-liberal and monopoly driven and crush anyone daring to attempt a sovereign development, no matter if it is socialist or nationalist capitalism.

  • David VS. Goliath that’s what it looks like. Was it not Napoleon Bonaparte that said that ‘ there are no small enemies.’ It’s just a thought you all.

  • It’s not your country, Olga. I wager that in the eyes of most Cubans, people like yourself, (I will not use the “G word”), who applaud the United States’ effective efforts to provoke misery and hardship on the real, patriotic Cubans who live on the island, you have long since ceased to be Cuban.

  • I have been to many countries that are in much worse shape than Cuba. At least in Cuba there are no street gangs and crime is very low. The people are also very high on the friendly scale. You don’t even live in Cuba anymore and all the info you hear is second hand. So you really don’t know what you’re talking about, Olgasintanales!

  • I guess you just want to keep going to Cuba and drink those Mojitos and look the other way while the Cubans Are suffering a horrible dictatorship. I’m Cuban and hope every day of my life Democracy for the Cuban people, freedom of press, assembly, speech, and free markets. They are so many dated Canadians and Europeans That between the gate for the USA, mojitos and Mulato “love” I ignore the pain of the Cubans.

  • I can tell you are not Cuban, I can tell you don’t know the pain, of living in exile because a family had kidnapped your country for over sixty years.

  • Wonder when Cuba will either vastly raise the rent for Guantanamo, currently set at 1970s nominal rate, it seems (and finally collect it, backdated) or revoke the 1903 treaty. Or evict them. Would you tolerate a tenant who had declared, repeatedly, their hatred of you?

  • Human rights, my ass
    Saudi Arabia kills journalists and dissidents like its going out of style, yet we help them fight their battles against Iran, which is much less repressive. I never knew Cuba leased aircraft from the U.S. but now othet countries like Russia and China can step in and help Cuba fight these Draconian sanctions instilled be the Truly Evil Empire!

  • I agree with Moses that these new sanctions are no more than paper tigers and meaningless in their real world application. Baring Raul from entering the US is like baring Trump from entering Cuba on vacation. The remittance limit does nothing as anyone who actually does remittances knows. Revoking leases to Cuban owned airlines? Who dreamed that one up? The only Cuban airline flying is Cubana and they sure do not have any planes leased from US companies. Sanctioning foreign goods containing US content? Who thinks that is going to bother Russia and China? Dream on!

    I just wonder who of real importance the US government thinks any of this makes a difference?

    The only thing the US government has done since Trump took office was the elimination of cruise ships. And that was significant to only a small number of new day tourists and those new tour guides around the cruise terminal. The economic impact on Cuba was insignificant. Everything else the Trump administration had done means nothing. Who do they think they are fooling?

  • What is it with America? Just leave Cuba alone and get on with life, or why not make friends and move on? After is it not the Red man who owns America if we wish to be picky. time to move on everyone, live and let live!

  • This latest round of sanctions are fairly ineffectual and easily sidestepped. Nonetheless, these sanctions, especially the one banning Raul Castro from visiting the United States are largely symbolic and intended to satisfy the shrinking but still powerful Republican base of Cuban voters in Florida. As the Cuban economy continues its tailspin downward, the aging Miami “mafia” are putting pressure on the Trump administration to be more aggressive. Even though Trump’s attention these days are directed mostly at saving his own hide, heis willing to throw his Cuban base of supporters a bone every now and then. These sanctions represent that most recent “bone”.

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