The US government is expanding its sanctions against Cuba (“U.S. Imposes New Travel Curbs on Cuba,” Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2019). It will make it more difficult for the slaves of the Cuban state to earn a living in the tourist industry. Writes the Journal:

Analysts say the U.S.’s latest action will be devastating to a growing private sector of Cuban entrepreneurs who operate thousands of bed-and-breakfasts in private homes, drive private taxis, and run private restaurants in Havana and throughout the island.

The official goal of the US government is to force change in the political regime of sovereign Cuba. (Not that one should defend national sovereignty at any cost, but the current US president professes to do so. A and non-A.) The US government apparently expects the harmed Cubans to stop or diminish their support to the communist regime.

The sanctions, however, directly hurt American citizens who want to travel to Cuba and American companies transporting them. The new travel curbs are imposed on Americans. They are directed against Americans and will only indirectly hurt Cubans and, it is hoped, their government as a consequence of hitting Americans first.

International sanctions are often similar to import tariffs or other trade barriers. A ruler takes his own subjects hostage and uses them (or threatens to use them) against another ruler’s subjects—like saying “If you don’t stop harming your subjects, I will harm mine.”