Editor’s Note: For more information about Trump’s new policy towards Cuba and how it affects cigars, click here.
Next month, President Donald Trump will announce plans to restrict travel to and from Cuba and discourage companies from doing business with the Cuban government according to a report from The Daily Caller.
The exact nature of what these changes will include remains unknown, but the publication says the changes will be announced during a speech by Trump in Miami, something the White House neither confirmed nor denied to The Daily Caller.
These changes have been prepared since February according to the report, but other issues have prevented their announcement. The news of the planned reversal isn’t a particularly surprising change. A week before he was elected, then candidate Trump made his thoughts on the matter clear.
“We will cancel Obama’s one-sided Cuban deal, made by executive order, if we do not get the deal that we want and the deal that people living in Cuba and here deserve, including protecting religious and political freedom…”
For American cigar smokers, this could be a big change to a much more relaxed approach towards Cuba over the last two years.
In late 2014, the Obama administration began allowing travelers returning back from Cuba to bring up to $100 of liquor and tobacco products into the country legally. It was the first in a series of changes regarding the country’s policy towards Cuba.
Amongst the largest changes have been the reestablishment of the U.S. embassy in Havana and the death of Fidel Castro, whose declining health and relinquishment of power is seen as one of the larger reasons for an easing of relations.
The biggest singular news for cigar smokers came last year, when the Obama administration removed restrictions on bringing Cuban goods back into the country. This meant that any traveler returning from any country could bring in Cuban cigars legally into the country, so long as they applied with normal customs rules that apply to other countries.
This meant that travelers were allowed to bring up to 100 Cuban cigars, valued at no more than $800, duty-free every 31 days. Selling Cuban cigars, importing Cuban cigars and having Cuban cigars shipped to America remain illegal, but someone returning from a trip to Paris was suddenly allowed to legally bring back a box of Montecristo No.2s.
Other changes impacted cigar smokers, travel to the country has been made easier as commercial flights are now flying directly to Cuba from the U.S., though demand for said flights was far overestimated.
While the move will appease some Cuban hardliners, particularly in Florida, it’s not particularly popular politically. Just last week, 55 of the 100 U.S. Senators introduced a bill that would remove all restrictions on traveling to Cuba.
For more information about Trump and Cuban cigars, click here.