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Vox Sentences: Cuba not-so-libre

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The Trump administration restricts travel to Cuba; the Sudanese military attacks pro-democracy groups in the capital.

The future of US tourism in Cuba looks bleak

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • The Trump administration is cracking down on US tourism in Cuba by blocking the most common travel methods. [ABC News / Conor Finnegan]
  • Under the new orders, organized educational group tours (also known as “people to people” travel) and cruise ships are banned. [Miami Herald / David J. Neal]
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the restrictions were placed because Cuba continues to “play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere” and is a “communist foothold in the region.” [Bloomberg / Saleha Mohsin and Christopher Palmeri]
  • These restrictions will ensure that US money is not used to fund the Cuban regime and military, which control the tourism industry in Cuba, the statement said. [CNN / Patrick Oppmann and Maegan Vazquez]
  • The Trump administration’s crackdown on Cuba was to be expected: In April, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said the administration would restrict non-family travel to the country. Trump had promised to reverse the thawed relationship in the past years. [Al Jazeera]
  • This would be a major hit to Cuba because US travelers have grown to be the country’s second-largest source of tourism, after Canada. [CNN / Patrick Oppmann and Maegan Vazquez]
  • The US’s relationship with Cuba had improved drastically during the Obama administration, which allowed commercial air travel and various forms of travel. Those days are over, however, as Trump rolls back these Obama-era efforts. [AP / Matthew Lee and Michael Weissenstein]

The bloody fight for democracy in Sudan

  • Sudan’s pro-democracy uprising has taken a bloody turn as civilian clashes with the military left at least 35 people dead on Monday. [AP / Bassam Hatoum and Samy Magdy]
  • Anti-government protests began last year, and longtime President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by a military coup in April. [NYT / Declan Walsh and Joseph Goldstein]
  • Still, protesters continued to head to the streets to demand civilian rule. They claimed that a government controlled by the military would too closely resemble Bashir’s authoritarian regime. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • After multiple clashes, it seemed like the two groups had reached a potential agreement: On May 14, they announced that they would have a three-year transition period that ended with elections. [BBC]
  • But negotiation efforts quickly dissolved as nationwide protests continued to pressure the military. On Monday, troops stormed the largest protest camp that had been the heart of the pro-democracy movement in the capital, and many were harmed by gunfire. [Washington Post / Jason Patinkin and Max Bearak]
  • The international community has condemned the military’s use of excessive violence. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said he was alarmed when he heard reports of troops firing openly inside a hospital. [Al Jazeera]
  • For now, there are no signs of peace negotiations. Although the military announced it would hold elections in nine months — a time period that opposition says is too rash — protesters have rejected that plan. [AFP]
  • Experts are concerned that violence could further escalate and lead to a full-blown civil war. [Al Jazeera]


  • In an attempt to attract high school workers, Walmart will now offer SAT and ACT prep along with a few online college courses. [AP / Anne D’Innocenzio]
  • The newest development in the US-China relationship: China issued a travel advisory on the US, citing frequent shootings, robbery, and theft. [Bloomberg]
  • A family in Texas ordered a cake for a graduation party. Instead, they received a frosted hunk of Styrofoam. [NY Post / Ebony Bowden]
  • What does it take to beat a Jeopardy champion who’s won 32 consecutive games? Ask the newest winner Emma Boettcher, who also wrote her master’s thesis on Jeopardy clues. [Washington Post / Antonia Noori Farzan]
  • A new report says climate change will pose an “existential threat” by 2050. [CNN / Julia Hollingsworth]


“The protest movement regards what happened this morning as a major betrayal of trust of the Sudanese people who were ready to regard the TMC as partners in the process of democratization.” [Former British Ambassador to Sudan Rosalind Marsden on the military’s violent crackdown on protesters]

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