The laws concerning travel to Cuba have not changed. It would take an act of Congress to do that, and Congress has not acted (nor will they, during an election year). What has been changed are the enforcement policies and the paperwork requirements (which is what the president controls).
You still cannot go there just as a tourist. You have to travel for one of the approved reasons. You do not, however, have to get approval ahead of time anymore. You are still supposed to fill out all of the paperwork, and have it available for inspection
, though the implication is that no one will ever want to see it (which actually leaves you in limbo, because what if someone DOES decide that they want to see it?). Also, the interpretation of the approved reasons has been significantly loosened. In particular, "cultural exchange" can be pretty much any non-economic interaction with native Cubans.
In a lot of ways, to me, this is worse than it was before. At least before, if you followed all of the required procedures, you knew that you were covered. As I said, none of the laws have changed. The president has just said, I'm not going to enforce the law like all my predecessors did.
So what if you decide to go, and then next year--when we have a new president--they decide that they want to inspect everyone's paperwork from the past 2 years? The law still says that you have to have all the forms and an approved reason. Since your paperwork was not reviewed and approved ahead of time, they could say that you didn't do it correctly, didn't provide required information, whatever, and so your visit was unauthorized and therefore illegal. Now what?
I don't like it. I hope that after the election our Congress will get off of their fat backsides and change the law. But we'll see.