The U.S. Department of Treasury released amendments to Cuban Asset Control Regulations on September 24, 2020. The amendments pertain to 31 CFR Part 515 and have been released as a final ruling to further implement President Donald Trump’s foreign policy towards Cuba. The ruling is effective immediately.
Specific Prohibitions of the Regulations
The Office of Foreign Assets amendments removes a general license for persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to participate in or organize certain clinics, workshops, athletic or non-athletic competitions, and exhibitions previously allowed during the Obama administration. The new restrictions as published in the Federal Register include:
- Restrictions on lodging, paying for lodging, or making reservations for lodging, at certain properties in Cuba.
- Restrictions on importation into the United States of Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco product.
- Professional research and professional meetings in Cuba.
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibition.
Reasons for Cuban Restrictions
The restrictions were announced on September 23, 2020 by President Trump as “… part of our continuing fight against communist oppression” He went on to say that “these actions will ensure U.S. dollars do not fund the Cuban regime.”
Human rights violations in Cuba have been taking place for decades. The Human Rights Watch has documented arbitrary detention and short-term imprisonment, restriction of information, prosecution of journalists, political imprisonment, and prohibition regarding freedom of association. The U.S. Department of State has been monitoring these abuses and
Cuban Asset Control Regulations are also being amended as a result of U.S. trade policies that seek to holding the Cuban Communist Party accountable for its support of the regime in Venezuela.
Export of Goods to Cuba
The United States maintains a comprehensive embargo on trade with Cuba. The export or reexport of goods to Cuba are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which are administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The export of goods is generally prohibited unless authorized by exemptions specified in section 746.2(a)(2) of the EAR.
- Exceptions to the embargo are made for certain categories of goods. These include:
- Medicines and medical goods.
- Goods that would ensure the safety of civil aviation.
- Telecommunication items usable by the Cuban people.
- Items necessary for the improvement of U.S. and international environmental conditions.
- Items that meet the needs of the Cuban people.
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