WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday ordered restrictions on travel by its citizens to eight countries, including South Africa and Cuba, as well as Malawi, Guyana, Haiti, Dominica, Liberia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“We have decided to temporarily limit certain travel to the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bonaire, and St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands due to security concerns,” the State Department said in a statement.
The restrictions come as the Trump administration investigates the potential of loosening sanctions and easing restrictions on U.S. commerce with Iran. The situation represents a chance for Mr. Trump to claim a broader, region-wide victory by imposing stricter restrictions on travel to those countries and possibly eliminating restrictions on trade and business with those states.
In South Africa, the restrictions are part of a renewed effort to keep Americans safe, while easing restrictions on travel to some other countries, officials said. For the South Africa provisions, officials stressed that the moves were part of broader sanctions.
“There is no … change to the government of South Africa’s sanctions in any way,” Ms. Pompeo said at a press conference Thursday, adding that certain travelers could now apply for “a special waiver,” potentially for as long as six months.
Separately, the U.S. government will impose sanctions on 22 individuals in Cuba, including Dr. Rafael Marrero, the president of the Union de Progresistas de Cuba, Ms. Pompeo said in a written statement. U.S. officials said the action was meant to “halt the propagation of Cuban government propaganda of the use of false testimony or at least orchestrated debates.”
Haiti could potentially become one of the poorest nations in the world by next year unless the government takes needed steps, the U.S. government said.
Ms. Pompeo added that a decision has not yet been made on what additional restrictions might be imposed on Haiti, which is still coping with the aftermath of a devastating January earthquake.
Elsewhere, the State Department said it has imposed sanctions on the following individuals, entities or companies:
The Republic of China
Shanghai Optical Cable
The Treasury Department said that it has also imposed sanctions on seven members of the Venezuelan National Assembly, starting with the speaker, Diosdado Cabello.
Tripda Wireless, Tollgate, and Poetry are private U.S. telecommunications companies headquartered in Virginia. Tollgate offers high-speed Internet, while Poetry, as the name implies, deals with poetry analysis.
• Dr. Rafael Marrero, president of the Union de Progresistas de Cuba
• Francisco Eguren del Menisco, a judicial inspector of Ecuador
• Rogelio Mendoza, a senior official of the Republic of Mexico
• Sofiya Ertugrulova, an Uzbek journalist and specialist on Ukraine and the Middle East
• Abdulla Mustafa and Fariz Mustafa, owners of Viacobulous Communications Group
• Hamad Hamid, a member of the Libyan National Council
• Farid El-Farisi, a senior official of the Central Bank of Egypt
• Col. Nazim Khaddoumi, a senior official of the Lebanese armed forces
• Marat Sarsenov, a professor at the Bulgaria University of Economics
• Nizar Hamadey, a leader of the opposition National Dialogue Coalition
• Almazbek Atem, a senior official of the National Iranian Resistance
• Jihad Elfak, director of the Moscow-based Iranian Foreign Ministry Residence
• Fabio Benvenuti, a security aide to former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti