CDA STATEMENT: Trump administration restricts trade and travel with Cuba, harming Cuban people

WASHINGTON – In response to new Cuba regulations released by the Trump Administration, CDA Executive Director Emily Mendrala released the following statement:

“The new Cuba rules imposed by the Trump administration are an unfortunate and misguided step backward that run contrary to the administration’s stated policy purposes and the interests of the U.S. New travel restrictions and complicated rules for in-country transactions are likely to hamper travel to Cuba and stifle the very Cuban entrepreneurs who the president says he supports.

“However, the last two years of progress, cooperation, and deepened ties between the U.S. and Cuba cannot be rolled back so easily. Despite new obstacles, I feel confident that travel, trade, and dialogue will continue. The U.S. and Cuban people continue to forge meaningful and lasting ties, and U.S. travelers will undoubtedly use the remaining legal avenues for travel – both in groups and as individuals – to go and learn, experience, dialogue, and continue to support Cuba’s budding private sector.

“Likewise, U.S. businesses will continue to explore opportunities with Cuba, and the governments of the U.S. and Cuba both recognize that continuing dialogue to advance progress on areas of mutual concern is in each country’s national interest.

“We urge the administration to listen more to the voices of those who are affected by U.S. policy, including U.S. businesses, travelers, and the Cuban people. It is notable that the new rules include a change intended to facilitate U.S. exports to Cuba to benefit the Cuban private sector. This falls far short of what Cuban entrepreneurs themselves say they need from the U.S. to support them, but we are encouraged that their voices have helped inform the new policy.

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CONTACT:

CDA Press Office (202) 234-5506

press@democracyinamericas.org

The Center for Democracy in the Americas, founded in 2006, has led more than 60 trips to Cuba for bipartisan delegations of Members of the U.S. Congress, trade missions for the governors of New York and Virginia, CEOs and trade associations, and leaders in philanthropy, women’s issues, and the arts, including the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. More information about CDA is available on our website.