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Cuba Reopens, but US Travelers Still Hampered by Sanctions

Cuba is set to reopen its borders on November 15, but visitors from the United States are still hampered by a series of sanctions restricting their travel to the island nation.

The restrictive measures were put into place by the Trump Administration and have remained in place under the Biden White House.

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“U.S. obstacles are the most significant in our more than 22 years of doing business in Cuba,” Michael Zuccato, head of Cuba Travel Services, told Reuters News Service.

Said Mayra Alonso, president of Marazul Tours: “The challenges seem endless right now. Between Trump, the pandemic and now Biden.”

While Biden has overturned many of the policies from Trump’s one term in office, the Cuba sanctions have not been addressed. Among other things, Trump cut back on commercial flights to Havana and eliminated them to other Cuban cities; put a halt to cruise ships docking in Cuba; and no longer permitted U.S. citizens from staying in any lodging that made money for the Cuban government.

Trump overturned President Barack Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with the Communist country in December of 2014 and to allow a form of travel and trade with Cuba.

“U.S. sanctions increased by Trump and maintained by the Biden administration are a great disappointment,” Collin Laverty, head of Cuban Educational Travel, told Reuters.

While U.S. airlines have committed to increasing flights from American cities to Havana, the Biden Administration has not said whether it will sign off on such additional flights.

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