US announces restrictions on travel to Cuba

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 10, 2019 19:41 hrs

[US], Jun 5 (ANI): In a bid to pressurise Cuba over its support to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the United States on Tuesday announced major restrictions on US citizens travelling to the Communist Island.

According to a statement by the US State Department, the new rules halts authorisation for the most popular way the Americans travel to Cuba, i.e, through organised tour groups, also known as 'people to people educational travel.' In addition, the US will no longer permit visits to Cuba via "passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, and private and corporate aircraft."

The new restrictions have been implemented as the US "holds the Cuban regime accountable for its repression of the Cuban people, its interference in Venezuela, and its direct role in the man-made crisis led by Nicolas Maduro."

"Despite widespread international condemnation, Maduro continues to undermine his country's institutions and subvert the Venezuelan people's right to self-determination. Empowered by Cuba, he has created a humanitarian disaster that destabilizes the region," the statement read.

According to media reports, the new regulations will come into effect on Wednesday, and would not be applicable for the citizens who have already booked tickets for the said methods of travel.

A US State Department spokesperson for western hemisphere told CNN that commercial flights from the US to Cuba will continue to be permitted as they "broadly support family travel and other lawful forms of travel"

Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla has called the new restrictions an "attack on international laws."

"The tightening of the US blockade against Cuba and its extraterritorial implementation is and the sovereignty of all States. It is the main obstacle to our development and a flagrant violation of the human rights of all Cubans," Rodriguez Parilla said in a tweet. (ANI)