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“It’s a totally complicated mess on the visa side,” Bustamante says.Under Obama, Americans developed relationships with Cubans, assuming communication and contact would improve between the two countries.
Austin-based academic and blogger Kiona Pilles, 27, was one of them.Before Trump’s presidency, the Obama administration normalized relations with Cuba in 2015.Part of this policy shift included 12 approved ways for Americans to visit the island, including “people to people” educational trips.But one day, Herrera and Andro were chatting when she suddenly burst into tears, realizing the connection she felt with him. 29, President Trump issued a travel warning and cut more than half the embassy staff because of alleged “sonic attacks,” in which sound waves can be used to cause physical problems.Andro then acknowledged that he felt the same way, and they became a couple. They planned a special date night, and when he picked her up at her aunt’s house, he proposed in front of her extended family. That September day, however, a year of hopes shattered. According to the State Department, Americans suffered a series of inexplicable and mysterious attacks.In response, she published the blog post “8 Things You Need to Know Before Dating a Cuban Papi and Ruining Your Life,” with wisdom such as: “If he hasn’t proposed to you, he doesn’t love you.” The exact number of Americans with long-distance Cuban partners is unknown.
But with recent increased contact came more opportunity for romance.
Her mother and grandmother were eager to try Andro’s great cooking.
Had Trump not halted diplomatic services and the interview gone according to plan, Andro would be in Portland.
For Jennifer Herrera, a 20-year-old student and daughter of Cuban immigrants, Halloween was supposed to be special.
It would have been the first with her fiancé, Andro, after they reunited in the United States.
But when Trump’s new travel restrictions took effect on Nov. Americans can still travel legally to Cuba, but Cubans’ inability to access visa services can create stress. The added financial strain of flights for her and Andro to Colombia – in addition to accommodations, food and transportation – makes it unlikely that they’ll be able to travel there.