Inside the President's Cuban speech - What actually changed on Friday:
Bottom Line: For all of the rhetoric that's been thrown around - there are two sides to every story but just one side to every fact. So let's get beyond the noise & down to what actually has changed with our policy towards Cuba. But first it's notable what isn't changing...diplomatic relations with the Cuban government.
- The US embassy in Cuba will remain open (it reopened in 2015 along with the Obama administration's related policy changes)
- The relaxed standards for accessing rum and tobacco products from Cuba are unchanged
- No reversal to bring back "wet foot, dry foot policy" that ended at the end of the Obama administration in January
Now for the actual changes:
- American businesses are banned from transacting with the GAESA (Cuban military)
- Reigned in travel availability of Americans to Cuba...Individual travel will be banned, sanctioned groups of Americans will still be allowed to travel (excluding those with educational interests in Cuba)
- Any additional restrictions will only be removed as the Cuban government "takes steps to improve the lives of Cuban people"
- Orders the official new regulations to be released by the Treasury and Commerce Department within 30 days
- Also orders ongoing reporting of any changes by the Cuban government in response to this policy (good or bad) that should be considered for further easing of Cuban policy or additional restrictions.