Trump's Rollback of Obama Cuba Policy Only a 'Half-Measure' for Tourists

Trump's speech on Cuba-American relations from Miami today will "announce new restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba . . . , but will not entirely reverse Barack Obama’s 2015 rapprochement with Havana." The biggest change for American tourists will be the suspension of the "people-to-people" visa provision, which allowed Americans to travel to Cuba in order to interact with Cuban people and be educated (in a non-academic sense) about Cuban culture and, as the Obama-administration saw it, vice versa. There will not be any reversal on any of the other eleven authorized visa categories, however, nor will sea or air travel from the States be restricted.

While Trump has loquaciously called Obama's deal with Cuba, "very, very bad," critics of his actions have been quick to point out Trump's rollbacks will make it difficult for some of his hotel competitors to expand their businesses, as they were planning. As always, these deals and decisions are more complicated than they appear from an outsider perspective, but I'm certain part of the appeal to Trump in doing this is taking a jab at both Obama and his business competition. Win-win!

American tourists, however, should be happy to know that it's still possible to get to Cuba, under certain guidelines, and they can probably get cheap airfare or seafare, since the amount of Americans who can travel to Cuba is likely smaller than the demand at the moment. But act quickly! I'm sure the airlines and cruise lines will correct this disparity ASAP.