Restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba tightened; Title III implemented

National Security Advisor John Bolton in a Wednesday (April 17) speech in Miami announced that the Trump administration is restricting non-family travel to Cuba and limiting the amount of remittances a person in the U.S. can send to his or her family to $1,000 per quarter.

Bolton also announced additions to the Cuba Restrict List, which prohibits direct financial transactions with entities tied to the nation’s military, intelligence, and security services.

“While the last administration wanted to improve relations with the tyrants in Havana, and to convince the world that they posed no threat, the Cuban regime tightened its grip and extended its tentacles,” Bolton told a gathering honoring the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

He added that “These new measures will help steer American dollars away from the Cuban regime, or its military and security services.”

Bolton’s speech came just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration will allow Cubans in the U.S. to sue companies that have used their former property on the island.

Pompeo said he would not suspend a provision in the 1996 Helms-Burton Act that allowed such litigation and had been blocked by every presidential administration since Bill Clinton. The move could affect dozens of Canadian and European companies doing business in Cuba – embroiling the businesses in litigation that could cost them billions of dollars and upending relations between Washington and its traditional allies.

EU threatens to sue U.S. at WTO if Title III implemented; would also lodge counterclaims

“Any person or company doing business in Cuba should heed this announcement,” Pompeo said. 

Reacting to the announcement, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) twitted that “today’s announcement by the Trump Administration is just plain stupid. It undercuts the emerging private sector in #Cuba, which the Trump Administration still pretends to support. It alienates our closest allies in Europe, Canada and Latin America.”

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Twitter: “Title III is no worse than I and II, which comprise part of the numerous actions against Cuba’s people. Nobody is going take from us, by seduction or force, “the Homeland won by our forefathers while standing tall.” Cubans do not give up.