Cuba slams new U.S. bans on travel

HAVANA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Cuba would not be "intimidated or distracted" by Washington's new restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, the island country's President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Tuesday.

"Cuba will not be intimidated or distracted by new threats and restrictions," Diaz-Canel tweeted, adding that work, creativity, effort and resistance are their response.

U.S. Treasury said in a statement on Tuesday that Washington is terminating "group people-to-people educational travel" to Cuba, citing the country's "destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere" and its support for "U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua."

The United States will also no longer permit visits to Cuba by passenger and recreational vessels as well as private and corporate aircraft, according to the statement.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez also tweeted that he strongly rejects the new sanctions against Cuba, adding that the U.S. bans are "aimed at suffocating the economy and harming the living standards of Cubans in order to forcefully obtain political concessions."

U.S.-Cuba ties have deteriorated under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has rolled back the detente initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

People-to-people educational travel was a category created under the Obama administration to allow Americans to visit Cuba on organized thematic tours to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries.

According to official figures, more than 600,000 U.S. citizens traveled to the Caribbean nation in 2018, mostly on cruises. This figure does not include half a million Cuban Americans who visited family in Cuba last year.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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