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New Cuba travel restrictions imposed by U.S. government

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 18:50:46-04

NAPLES, Fla. — The U.S. announced new travel restrictions to Cuba Tuesday for American citizens wanting to visit the island nation. It's a response to what some in the Trump Administration call Cuba's "destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere - including the Castro regime's support for Venezuela's controversial president Nicolas Maduro.

The new travel ban means that Cuba will be off-limits to cruise ships, as well as "people to people" cultural tours, which is the way that most American visitors experience Cuba. The U.S. will also deny permission for private and corporate aircraft and boats to enter the country.

A statement from the U.S. State Department reads in part: "Veiled tourism has served to line the pockets of the Cuban military...repressing the Cuban people on the island."

"The regime continues to harass, intimidate and jail Cubans who dare to voice an opinion different from the one the regime wants them to have," the statement reads.

Marc Fleischer of Naples said he has been to Cuba numerous times for humanitarian missions, and will be able to continue doing so. Those visits will still be legal under the new rules.

"It's unfortunate for Americans, that they don't get to see beautiful country," Fleischer said. "It is really unfortunate for the Cubans, because they actually depend a lot on the people-to-people tours."