UNWTO slams U.S. decision to restore travel restrictions on Cuba

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The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has condemned on Monday the United States decision to restore travel restrictions with Cuba, the organization said in a statement.

The UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said the decision represented “a step backward and a strong attack on the freedom of travel”, adding that it would affect the U.S. economy and jobs.

“This decision will have limited impact on Cuba’s tourism development, yet it will substantially affect the U.S. economy and American jobs,” he said.

“Many U.S. companies have started to invest in and do business with Cuba in view of the immense potential of Cuba’s tourism, which other countries will surely continue to benefit from,” he said.

According to the UNWTO, Cuba received 4 million international visitors last year, which meant a rise of 1 million in only five years.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on June 16 during a speech in Miami that his administration would impose new restrictions for companies doing businesses with the Cuban armed forces and for U.S. citizens traveling to the island country.

The Cuban government had said that the decision was a step backward in the relationship between the two countries, stating that any strategy aimed at changing Cuba’s political and economic system would fail.

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