Travel restrictions to Cuba were first put in place in the early 1960s in an effort to put pressure on the country's Communist government. Since then, depending on who occupied the Oval Office, Americans have been both forbidden and allowed to visit this Caribbean country.
Travel restrictions to Cuba coincided with America's trade embargo with the country, which was enacted in the early 1960s as a result of Fidel Castro's ties to the Soviet Union.
Americans who want to visit Cuba must go as approved group members. Only certain types of travelers are issued licenses that make it legal for them to visit Cuba.
These types of American travelers are granted licenses: people with close relatives living in Cuba, professionals attending meetings or conferences, full-time professional researchers, journalists and government officials.
Specific travel licenses are granted to individuals engaged in educational programs, religious projects, athletics and humanitarian missions.
Tourism travel to Cuba is restricted. Traveling to Cuba without a license subjects U.S. citizens to a possible punishment of up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.