Oct 22, 2019
WASHNGTON, DC – The Trump Administration announced last week, through the Department of Commerce, that they will discontinue Cuba’s ability to lease commercial planes and halt some forms of donations from the U.S.
The Administration said they will revoke licenses for existing leases of aircrafts to Cuban state-owned airlines and will deny future applications. The Cuban government technically had the ability to generate revenue by transporting tourists on the leased aircrafts.
Additionally, the U.S. government will no longer allow donations of items for use in scientific, archeological, cultural, ecological, educational, historic preservation, or sporting activities to be made if the Cuban government is the recipient. The ban extends to free promotional items that are intended to aid Cuba’s government.
This new wave of enforcement follows on the heels of the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act in May of this year, allowing lawsuits in U.S. courts against both persons and domestic and foreign companies trafficking over property seized during the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Additionally, Title IV of the same act was implemented, which denies travel visas on non-family travel and remittances from the U.S. into Cuba.
“USA Rice continues to support a reasoned approach toward normalized trade with Cuba, including passage of legislation that would remove specific restrictions on financing and marketing of agricultural goods to Cuba,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward. “The 2018 Farm Bill permitted the use of USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funds in Cuba, however, given the broader geopolitical issues at play, it will be difficult to make progress both on the trade and legislative fronts.