In a National Security Presidential Memorandum issued 16 June 2017, the Trump Administration outlined modest changes to US Cuba policy and forthcoming revisions to economic sanctions regulations implementing the Cuba embargo. According to the memorandum, the shift is intended to “promote a stable, prosperous, and free country for the Cuban People,” by, among other things, redirecting US funds to private enterprise in Cuba and the Cuban people and away from the Cuban government.
The memorandum calls on the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Commerce and Transportation to, within 30 days, begin to reform Cuba sanction regulations. Among other things, the memorandum directs the Secretary of State to publish a list of entities that are under Cuban government control and to prohibit certain transactions by US individuals and companies with those entities. The list is to include entities related to the Cuban military, intelligence or security services, such as the Cuban conglomerate Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A. (GAESA) and its affiliates, subsidiaries and successors. Direct transactions by US companies with a listed entity will be prohibited if not initiated prior to the issuance of forthcoming Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations. The memorandum further directs the Secretary of the Treasury to strengthen restrictions on tourism in Cuba by ending individual people-to-people travel to the island, enhancing enforcement of requirements for Cuba travel under existing General Licenses, and conducting regular audits of Cuba travel.