President Donald Trump recently announced new sanctions on Cuba restricting imports of Cuban rum and cigars and banning Americans from staying at properties owned by the Cuban government.
The latest move comes as the U.S. President seeks to lock in the Cuban American vote in the key battleground state of Florida before the November 3 general election.
Trump won Florida in 2016 by a mere 1.2 percentage points.
“Today, as part of our continuing fight against communist oppression, I am announcing that the Treasury Department will prohibit US travelers from staying at properties owned by the Cuban government,” Trump said at a White House press event.
“We’re also further restricting the importation of alcohol and Cuban tobacco,” Trump said during a ceremony honoring Bay of Pigs veterans and commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Mariel boatlift that brought 120,000 Cubans to Miami.
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has sought to unwind a detente with Cuba pursued by his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Last year, the Trump administration imposed new restrictions on travel to Cuba, saying the move aimed to further pressure the Communist government for its support for Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro.
The Treasury Department said at the time that the US would no longer allow so-called “group people-to-people educational travel”, one of the most popular exemptions to the overall ban on US tourism to Cuba.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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