About a week ago, the Trump Administration announced their planned reversal to key components of US-Cuba policy established under President Obama. At President Trump’s direction, tighter restrictions will be applied to any activities or entities related to Cuba’s military-commercial conglomerate GAESA (the Spanish acronym for Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A.), the business conglomerate owned by the Revolutionary Armed Forces and controls more than 50 enterprises, although the exact details are difficult to establish. GAESA is led by army Gen. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez Calleja, who is reportedly married (or formerly married) to a daughter of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro. In addition, the announcement reverses eased restrictions on travel to the island nation.
This new Cuban policy reversal plan announcement raised significant concern amongst cigar aficionados regarding changes to access to Cuban cigars; however, it does not make any changes to existing policy. Cuban cigars can still be brought into the US from travelers abroad for personal enjoyment and without any limit to quantity. However, it remains US policy that Cuban cigars can not be imported for any retail purpose.
Click here for additional information from the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on the Trump administration’s announcement.