The strict educational tours are the only way for citizens to experience local Cuban culture, but operators are facing delays for licenses renewals sparking curiosity as to whether the U.S. is phasing out the short-lived exchange.
Authorized by Pres. Obama last year as a way to boost Americans’ engagement with everyday Cubans despite a five-decade U.S. trade embargo, “people-to-people” programs to the communist island have been put on hold.
According to a recent column by Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager, almost no organizations with previous people-to-people licenses from the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) have received renewals. Advertised trips have been scrapped, she writes, and organizations “are left to wait without any updates or information.”