Trump Administration will no longer allow visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels

The Trump Administration on Tuesday banned most US travel to Cuba under the so-called ‘group people-to-people educational travel,’ to pressure the Communist island over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The US will also no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships, yachts and other private boats, as well as private and corporate aircraft, according to the Administration and Reuters news service.

“The Administration has advanced the President’s Cuba policy by ending ‘veiled tourism’ to Cuba and imposing restrictions on vessels,” said a tweet from Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, who has led the US campaign against what he has called the “troika of tyranny” of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

“We will continue to take actions to restrict the Cuban regime’s access to US dollars.”

The tightening of the decades-old US embargo on the Caribbean’s largest island will further wound its crippled economy as well as hurt US travel companies that had built up business with Cuba during a brief 2014-2016 detente under former President Barack Obama.

US travel to Cuba had boomed in recent years after Obama loosened restrictions, allowing regular commercial flights and cruise services.

The United States became the second-largest source of travelers to the island after Canada, with a majority – 55% – arriving on cruise ships.

According to the Cuban government, 257,500 US citizens, not including those of Cuban origin, visited Cuba from January through March.