United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday introduced new sanctions on Cuba proscribing imports of Cuban rum and cigars and banning Individuals from staying at properties owned by the Cuban authorities.
The transfer comes as Trump is making an attempt to lock within the Cuban American vote in the important thing battleground state of Florida earlier than the November three presidential election.
Trump gained Florida in 2016 by simply 1.2 share factors.
“Right this moment, as half of our persevering with combat in opposition to communist oppression, I’m saying that the Treasury Division will prohibit US travellers from staying at properties owned by the Cuban authorities,” Trump stated at a White Home occasion on Wednesday.
“We’re additionally additional proscribing the importation of alcohol and Cuban tobacco,” Trump stated throughout a ceremony honouring Bay of Pigs veterans and commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Mariel boatlift that introduced 120,000 Cubans to Miami.
Since taking workplace in January 2017, Trump has sought to unwind a detente with Cuba pursued by his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Final yr, the Trump administration imposed new restrictions on journey to Cuba, saying the transfer aimed to additional stress the Communist authorities for its help for Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro.
The Treasury Division stated on the time that the US would now not enable so-called “group people-to-people instructional journey”, one of the most well-liked exemptions to the general ban on US tourism to Cuba.
Earlier this yr, the Trump administration additionally ordered Marriott Worldwide to wind down its lodge operations in Cuba.
Starwood Lodges, now owned by Marriott, was the primary US lodge firm to signal a take care of Cuba because the 1959 revolution after Obama sought to normalise relations with the regime.
“The Cuban regime has been redirecting income from approved US journey for its personal profit, usually on the expense of the Cuban individuals,” stated US Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin in an announcement on the division’s web site. “This Administration is dedicated to denying Cuba’s oppressive regime entry to revenues used to fund their malign actions, each at house and overseas.”
The Trump administration’s sanctions have additional crippled Cuba’s financial system already struggling from the coronavirus pandemic and a drop in help from struggling leftist ally Venezuela.
Again in July, communist-run Cuba introduced that it was loosening restrictions on small companies to assist stimulate the battered home financial system.
The Cuban American expatriate neighborhood in south Florida is a vital constituency for Republicans in US presidential elections.
Trump and his rival, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, stay locked in a decent race in Florida.
No Republican has gained the presidency with out Florida since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. Trump will maintain a rally in Jacksonville on Thursday.