Americans face more restrictions on Cuban products and travel. The Trump administration turned back the clock to the era between February 1962 and December 2014. Mid-December 2014, President Obama lifted some of the restrictions concerning Cuban cigars, Cuban rum, and travel to Cuba.
Before the 2014 decision to lift some of the restrictions, American citizens weren’t allowed to buy Cuban products anywhere. Not even abroad. Americans in other countries were legally not allowed to buy Cuban cigars or rum, although they did. After President Obama met the Cuban head of state Raul Castro at the funeral of Nelson Mandela in 2013, diplomatic talks started. That lead to some restrictions and the start of official relations between the two countries. At first, American citizens were allowed to import $ 100 worth of Cuban cigars rum traveling from Cuba. Only for personal use.
In 2016, the Obama administration lifted the cap. Americans are allowed to bring in 100 cigars valued up to $800 without paying duty. Any value over that is taxable. The cigars have to be for personal consumption, as selling Cuban cigars in the United States is prohibited. Just as ordering cigars online and have them shipped to the United States. This move also meant that Americans can legally buy Cuban cigars anywhere in the world. But that changes effective immediately.
With the new restrictions, buying Cuban cigars or rum becomes illegal again for Americans. Anywhere in the world. Traveling to Cuba will be harder as well. The authorization for public performances, clinics, workshops, exhibitions, meetings, or conferences is no longer automatically approved but handled case-by-case. The list of places where Americans are not allowed to stay in Cuba has been expended. This comes after a 2017 rollback of the Trump administration, which made traveling to Cuba harder for Americans.
“Today, as part of our continuing fight against communist oppression, I am announcing that the Treasury Department will prohibit US travelers from staying at properties owned by the Cuban government,” Trump said at a White House event. “We’re also further restricting the importation of alcohol and Cuban tobacco,” the Republican president said at the ceremony honoring Bay of Pigs veterans and commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Mariel boatlift that brought 120,000 Cubans to Miami.
The Trump administration also said it would no longer authorize passenger and recreational vessels and private and corporate aircraft to travel to Cuba.