Trump administration tightens sanctions against Cuba

The U.S. government on Wednesday, announced new restrictions against Cuba tightening sanctions as part of President Donald Trump’s pledge to roll back his Democratic predecessor’s move toward warmer ties with Havana.

“The changes, which take effect on Thursday, are aimed at preventing U.S. trade and travellers from benefiting its military, intelligences and security arms of the Communist-ruled country.

“They will expand the list of Cuban government officials barred from transactions as well as set policy to deny exports to prohibited Cuban entities,’’ the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

But the administration said it would still allow commercial transactions and most travel arrangements that have already been made before the changes to continue.

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“And while U.S. travellers will still be able to make authorised trips to Cuba, they will have to use a U.S.-based organisation and be accompanied by a U.S. representative of the group,’’ Treasury said.

The move came after Trump in June ordered tighter restrictions against Cuba even as he left in place many of the changes former President Barack Obama made as part of his 2014 diplomatic breakthrough amid the two former Cold War foes.

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