The Trump administration on Friday said it would ban US flights to all Cuban destinations except Havana. The ban will take effect in December.
"This action will prevent the Castro regime [Raul] from benefiting from US air travel and using the proceeds to repress the Cuban people," said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Another reason for the suspended flights is to prevent American tourism in Cuba, which is currently prohibited by US law. In June, the State Department took a step further and banned cruise ships from making stops there.
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Opponents of the ban said it would make it difficult for Cuban-Americans to visit family living far from Havana and travel by road.
The Trump administration has taken steps in recent months to starve money from the Cuban government, which, in addition to repressing its own citizens, is heavily linked to Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.
] A week ago, the Department of Commerce focused directly on Cuba's tourism industry, limiting airline options to airlines. He also said the US would expand the sanctions to include more foreign goods produced with US content.
"The non-observance of the Cuban regime by human rights and the use of violence to support the former Maduro regime are responsible for the ongoing crises in and Venezuela ," Pompeo said last month. when it imposed a travel ban on the family of Communist Party leader Raul Castro.
The US Government has stated that some 20,000 Cuban troops and agents are working in Venezuela to protect the Maduro government.
Castro complicit in undermining Venezuela's democracy and triggering the largest humanitarian crisis in the hemisphere, forcing 15 percent of Venezuela's population to flee the country and accelerate food shortages and health crises in an unprecedented scale ", said Pompeo.
Trump in a speech at the United Nations last month called the Venezuelan leader a" Cuban puppet. " Click here to get the application of FOX NEWS
" The Maduro dictator is a Cuban puppet protected by Cuban bodyguards hiding from his own people while the Cubans plunder Venezuela's oil wealth, Communist rule – said Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.