A number of changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced by President Trump this past June are being implemented as of Nov. 9 under regulatory changes being made by the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the State Department. According to a Treasury Department press release, major elements of these changes include the following.
- The State Department is publishing a list of entities and sub-entities that are under the control of, or act for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel and with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such entities at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba (the Cuba Restricted List). This list will be periodically updated as necessary.
- Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction will now be prohibited from engaging in certain direct financial transactions with entities and sub-entities identified on the Cuba Restricted List, with some exceptions.
- Commercial engagements in place prior to the listing of any entity or sub-entity will continue to be authorized, as will most previously arranged travel.
- BIS is establishing a general policy of denial of applications for licenses to export or reexport items for use by entities and sub-entities on the Cuba Restricted List (with certain exceptions).
- BIS is simplifying and expanding its license exception that authorizes certain license-free exports to the Cuban private sector.
- OFAC is amending the definition of the term “prohibited officials of the government of Cuba” to include certain additional individuals and BIS is making conforming changes to license exceptions GFT (gift parcels and humanitarian donations), CCD (consumer communications devices), and SCP (support for the Cuban people) that include the same definition. This change will affect certain otherwise-authorized transactions with the expanded group of such officials.
The White House has previously said that its new Cuba policy reaffirms the statutory U.S. trade embargo of Cuba and opposes calls in the United Nations and other international forums for its termination. It also enhances travel restrictions, including ending individual people-to-people travel, to improve the statutory ban on U.S. tourism to Cuba.