US Tightens Cuba Export Restrictions To Include Leased Airplane - Commerce Department

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th October, 2019) Export regulations for Cuba-bound items have been extended to leased aircraft, boats, ships and even spacecraft, the US Commerce Department announced in a press release on Friday.

"Specifically, this rule amends the Cuba licensing policy in the EAR [Export Administration Regulations] to establish a general policy of denial for leases of aircraft to Cuban state-owned airlines," the release said.

The rule "also amends License Exceptions [for] Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS) to clarify that aircraft and vessels are not eligible for the license exception if they are leased to or chartered by a national of Cuba or a State Sponsor of Terrorism."

In addition, the rule restricts export license exemptions for donations to the Cuban government, as well as promotional material that benefit the Cuban government, the release said.

"BIS [Bureau of Industry and Security] is making these amendments to further restrict the Cuban government's access to items subject to the EAR, thereby supporting the Administration's national security and foreign policy decision to hold the Cuban regime accountable for its repression of the Cuban people and its support for the [Nicholas] Maduro regime in Venezuela," the release said.

US President Donald Trump has reversed Obama administration steps to normalize relations with Cuba by easing Cold War sanctions against the island nation.

Under Trump, US tourists have been limited to group trips with cultural organizations, cruise ships have been banned from docking in Cuba, remittances from relatives in the United States have been restricted and Americans with property seized during the Cuban revolution are being allowed to sue for damages.