US cracking down on tourism, remittances and banking in Cuba sanctions push – Bolton
The US is targeting Cuba with additional sanctions, including restricting travel to the island nation, limiting remittances, and sanctioning additional entities, White House national security adviser John Bolton said.
US citizens sending remittances to Cuba will be limited t $1,000 per person per quarter, Bolton said on Wednesday. Non-family travel will be restricted to reduce “veiled tourism” that benefits the Cuban government and military, he added.
“Through the Treasury Department, we will also implement changes to end the use of ‘U-turn transactions,’ which allow the regime to circumvent sanctions and obtain access to hard currency and the US banking system,” Bolton said in a speech to veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, when CIA-backed Cuban exiles tried to overthrow Fidel Castro’s revolutionary government.
"The Trump administration is proud to announce several further measures we are adopting to reverse the consequences of the disastrous Obama-era policies and finally end the glamorization of socialism and communism," says @AmbJohnBolton in Miami speech. pic.twitter.com/voB95DyOJK— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) April 17, 2019
"We are also announcing that the Department of the Treasury will implement further regulatory changes to restrict non-family travel to Cuba," adds @AmbJohnBolton.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) April 17, 2019
The move comes a day after the White House announced it would stop issuing waivers on implementing the Helms-Burton law, which would penalize anyone in the world who did business with Cuban entities using property seized from US owners following the 1959 Cuban revolution.
“No one will take the fatherland from us, neither by seduction nor by force,” Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.Also on rt.com Trump opens Cuba up to property confiscation lawsuits, angering allies & foes alike
Treasury has not officially announced the new sanctions, but Bolton said five entities will be added to the Cuban blacklist, including the military-owned airline Aerogaviota.
The US cut diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1961, and over the following decades imposed a wide range of sanctions on the island nation, just 90 miles south of Florida. Former president Barack Obama sought to soften the US policy in 2015, leading to the reopening of the US and Cuban embassies and loosening of travel restrictions.
In June 2017, however, Trump rolled back all of Obama’s changes, returning to a hard-line policy on Cuba. Additional sanctions were introduced this year, as part of the US effort to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela spearheaded by Bolton and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), son of Cuban exiles.
The Trump administration has accused Cuba of “occupying” Venezuela, claiming that the Cuban military was helping Maduro stay in power.
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