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Cuba travel expert says there are still ways to visit island

New ban doesn't fully prevent Cuba travel, expert says

The U.S. Embassy along Malecon Seaside Avenue in Havana, Cuba, on Aug. 12, 2015.
The U.S. Embassy along Malecon Seaside Avenue in Havana, Cuba, on Aug. 12, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

HAVANA – After President Donald Trump's administration banned cruise ships and educational travel to Cuba, the president of Cuba Educational Travel said Wednesday that there are still other ways to travel to the island. 

Collin Laverty benefited greatly from former President Barack Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba. It allowed him to brings hundreds of groups to the once-forbidden island every year. His business has been making it easier for travelers to enjoy Old Havana despite the federal regulations. 

Despite Trump's efforts to prevent Americans from spending money in Cuba to block a vital source of revenue, Laverty isn't giving up

"We will study the new regulations and figure out how to continue to legally take thousands of Americans to Cuba going forward," Lavery said

U.S. officials published the new sanctions in the Federal Register. Lavery said he is concerned about how the policy will continue to affect the Cuban people. Last month, his company released a survey shedding light on how the private sector relies heavily on U.S. visitors. 

Lavery said he is concerned that a "political grandstanding" aimed at Florida voters in the runup to the 2020 elections will end up hurting millions of Cubans. He plans to continue to help travelers to use the other categories of legal travel available, which include academic programs and professional meetings. 

"Commercial flights were left intact and any previously made reservations can go forward," Lavery said


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