WASHINGTON -- Cuban Americans visiting relatives in Cuba must
return by July 31 or face fines of up to $55,000, according to new
regulations imposed by the U.S. Treasury Dept.'s Office of Foreign
The department's original ruling -- posted in mid-June -- had
stipulated a June 30 return date, but lawmakers and travel industry
representatives protested that the short notice did not give air
charter companies enough time to inform passengers, many in remote
areas, of the deadline.
The regulations also cap visits to two weeks every three years,
instead of once every year, and only to immediate family members,
such as parents and siblings. Baggage and the amount of money taken
to relatives also will be restricted.
The rules are designed to hasten the fall of Fidel Castro's
government by cutting the flow of tourist money to the island.
Castro called the measures "pitiless and inhumane."
Rep. Jim Davis (D-Fla.) introduced legislation in Congress to
overturn the "misguided restrictions [which] harm countless
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].