Changes to the sanctions program against Cuba which were announced by US President Donald Trump in June will take effect on November 9, according to the US Treasury Department.
According to the Treasury, the goal of the changes is to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military, intelligence and security services, but still allow Americans to travel to Cuba and support the country's private, small businesses.
The State Department is currently putting together a list of entities and sub-entities with which people subject to US jurisdiction will no longer be allowed to conduct transactions, while the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security will be simplifying and expanding the exception that allows certain license-free exports to the Cuban private sector.
According to a US administration official, now the ties between Washington and Havana depend on Cuba, while the sanctions, which are not linked to the so-called "acoustic attacks," are aimed to push the country to comply with political and economic freedoms.
Washington's U-Turn on Cuba
Most lately, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced the decision to vote against the resolution condemning the US embargo against Cuba, which came amid the expulsion of Cuban diplomats under the pretext of an alleged "acoustic attack" on US officials, a claim denied by Havana.
However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated that the US would maintain relations with the Latin American country.
The actions of the current US administration are out of tune with the policy of the administration of former President Barack Obama that announced in December 2014 the decision to normalize ties with Cuba after more than 50 years of non-engagement and hostilities. The two countries have reopened embassies in their respective capitals and have signed a dozen cooperation deals since then.