House Passes Bill That Tightens Cuba Sanctions

Friday, July 8, 2016
From Travel Weekly:

The House of Representatives on Thursday night approved a measure that would put an end to the people-to-people exchanges used by tour operators and the Fathom cruise line to run Cuba trips.

The House also approved a measure that would prohibit financial transactions with the Cuban military. That impacts travel, according to a report by the geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, since the military runs much of Cuba’s tourism infrastructure, including hotels and tour companies.

Still, resistance from President Obama and the Senate means the House proposals face long odds of becoming law.

The measures were contained within the far broader House financial services appropriations bill, which passed by a count of 239 to 185 Thursday night on a largely party line vote.

The proposal that would end people-to-people exchanges would do so by tightening the definition of educational exchanges, one of the 12 approved categories under which Americans can travel to Cuba, to only include educational travel involving academic programs. At present, people-to-people exchanges are allowed under the education exchanges provision.