Smith said the trip was created to build relations in hopes of future Minnesota agricultural sales to Cuba.
Tourism is technically banned by the USA embargo on Cuba, but under the Obama Administration, relaxed regulations allowed Americans to visit Cuba under people-to-people travel. He also admitted that the blockade was an obsolete policy and should be eliminated.
"The administration's argument for cancelling this travel category is the erroneous assumption that people-to-people exchanges do not help the Cuban people and instead only benefits the Cuban government".
For decades, USA presidents and members of Congress had agreed on economic sanctions and severe limits on Americans' interactions with Cuba. "As people of faith, we dissent the policy announcement, and commit to our ongoing relationship with our partners in Cuba, and to the continual petitioning of Congress to end all oppressive travel and trade restrictions".
Trump's policy keeps a U.S. Embassy open in Havana and allows U.S. airlines and cruise ships to continue service to Cuba.
The Cuban government denounces the new measures to tighten the blockade, which are destined to fail as has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past, and which will not achieve their goal of weakening the Revolution or bending the Cuban people, whose resistance to aggressions of any type and origin has been proven over nearly six decades.
Trump specifically demanded that Cuba repatriate iconic Black freedom fighter Assata Shakur, formerly named Joanne Chesimard, who escaped prison after facing years of incarceration for the trumped up charges of murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973, charges she has always denied. All educational travel must be under the auspices of an organization subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and all such travelers must be accompanied by a representative of the sponsoring organization during the time spent in Cuba. "There are very serious doubts about that case".
Being gay in Cuba was cause for great concern not long ago. Google, Airbnb, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, American Airlines, Southwest Airlinesand other companies already have or are considering investments in Cuba.
Viewed as a whole, President Trump is tightening some areas where improved economic relations with the United States could have benefitted some auspices of the Cuban Government.
Trump chose to announce the new policy in Miami, Florida, which hosts one of the biggest Cuban-Americans communities in the country.
Cuba has not renounced these principles and will never give up. Cuba, however, was committed to "respectful dialogue", said a statement from the government.
"Cuba will not make concessions that harm its sovereignty", Rodriguez said.
These new polices will also affect other cruise lines either now operating or planning to sail to Cuba. "There are many risky places in this world to travel to, and with governments that provide less rights than Cuba, but we can still travel there".