Trump is making it more difficult for Americans to travel to Cuba — these gorgeous photos show what they’ll be missing

Cubans are known for their love of classic cars.

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Cubans are known for their love of classic cars.
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Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

    Former President Barack Obama began lifting travel and trade restrictions with Cuba in 2014. In 2016, the island had a record-breaking 4 million visitors. This week, the Trump administration’s new travel and trade restrictions will be enacted.

On Thursday, new restrictions for Americans traveling to Cuba will be enacted by the Trump administration. According to the new policies, those traveling for educational purposes or “people-to-people” travel must be accompanied by a representative from an authorized organization.

In 2016, former President Barack Obama had lifted restrictions on tourists, and the island was reaping the benefits.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a statement on the new restrictions: “We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people.”

The Trump administration has published a list of hotels, marinas, stores, and rum factories that have ties to the Cuban military and are therefore off-limits.

This September, Cuba was hit by Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm to land on the island in over 80 years. The Category 5 storm killed 10 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Here’s a look at what daily life was like on the once-restricted island pre-Irma. Cuba which will enter its tourist high season in December.


From Havana’s National Museum of Fine Arts to the smaller art markets in the streets, tourists can find beautiful and colorful art all across the city.

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Soccer games are played everywhere, even in the street.

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Cubans are known for their love of vintage cars.

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Even taxi drivers cruise around in these elaborate vehicles.

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On average, June is Havana’s most rainy month.

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Inside the H. Upmann cigar factory in Havana, Yiliana Benitez rolls a famous Cuban cigar. In Cuba, cigar rolling is considered an art form that’s passed down through generations.

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In March, all of the cowboys of Cuba flock to Havana for the International Livestock Fair.

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In 2015, the 12th Havana Biennial took place, drawing artists and curators from all over the world. Here, they take a tour of the city’s streets.

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Cuba’s El Capitolio was built between 1926 and 1929. It still stands today.

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La Estatua de la República is found inside the Capitol building.

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Cuba has a rich history of dance, including styles like danzón, mambo, and salsa.

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Salsa dance instructor Ariel Domninguez gives a lesson of Cuban-style salsa to a student.

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More salsa classes take place on the beach in Varadero.

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The beaches of Varadero have beautifully clear waters.


On average, the water is a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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If you don’t want to swim, rent a sailboat to explore the waters.

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Cuba is known for its high-performing education system, and its schools are considered the best in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Source: The World Bank


Cuban soldiers lead a ceremony in remembrance of student leaders killed during the fight against Spanish colonial rule.

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Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters

When it comes to shipping to the US from Cuba, strict guidelines are still in place. Plan ahead.

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Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters