President Donald Trump today made a stunning speech in Little Havana (Miami) regarding changes in policies involving Americans traveling to Cuba. I believe he fully met his goal of fulfilling his campaign promise to a relatively small minority of Cuban-Americans in south Florida. President Trump can now check another box on his list of completed campaign promises.
If you were not paying close attention, it would be easy to assume that legal travel to Cuba has now been shut down. In reality, the new guidelines will have minimum effect on the logistics of travel. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has already published an update (link below). People-to-People group travel to Cuba will continue to be allowed, and actually encouraged. Individual travel may now be technically illegal, but keep in mind that just two travelers can still constitute a “Group.”
In my opinion, the most serious fallout from President Trump’s speech will be the PERCEPTION that it will be more difficult to visit Cuba. This is why it is more important than ever for travel specialists to continue to educate and inform Americans about this situation.
We must continue to emphasize that Cuba is a beautiful, friendly, and safe country to visit. Cubans love Americans and American culture. Cuba is a kid-friendly country that is ideal for family educational experiences. Regardless of how some Americans might feel about its government, Cuba continues to sign trade deals with some of the most conservative governors and congressmen in the U.S.
We salute President Trump for following through on his campaign promise, while allowing legal travel to Cuba to continue. Thank you, Mr. President!