WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday announced new restrictions on U.S. business and travel with Cuba.
Under the new rules announced by U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. people-to-people nonacademic educational travel to Cuba will have to be carried out as part of groups licensed by U.S. Treasury Department.
"Individual people-to-people nonacademic educational travel will no longer be authorized as announced by the president," said U.S. Treasury Department in a statement.
U.S. citizens will also be banned from staying at over 80 Cuban hotels which U.S. State Department has designated as being owned by or benefiting Cuban government officials.
The new rules unveiled on Wednesday offered detail to a presidential memorandum signed by U.S. President Donald Trump in June, in which he pledged to toughen U.S. policies toward Cuba that had been relaxed by his predecessor Barack Obama.
In December 2014, in the most sweeping change in U.S.-Cuban relations in five decades, Obama announced plans to normalize ties with Cuba in a move that quickly sparked much controversy in the United States.
Since then, improvements have been made in U.S.-Cuban diplomatic, social and commercial ties, with the United States opening an embassy in Cuba, increasing flights to Cuba, and some U.S. businesses expanding into the island nation for the first time in five decades.
United States severed ties with Cuba in 1961, shortly after Fidel Castro launched a revolution that toppled a U.S.-friendly government, and the two countries had been at loggerheads ever since.