USA Relaxes Travel Ban on Cuba and Aspects of the Embargo

Photo montaje from a website titled: Cuba y la Masonería
Photo montaje from a website titled: Cuba y la Masonería

HAVANA TIMES — The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will open up travel for individual US citizens to Cuba and relax aspects of the embargo on the island nation including the lifting of some restrictions on trade and investment, reported dpa news.

On December 17 the two former rivals surprised the world by announcing their plans to restore diplomatic relations after more than half a century of confrontation.

The US Treasury Department announced today measures to facilitate wide-ranging travel of individual US citizens to Cuba and allow them to use credit and debit cards from US banks on the island. Some restrictions still remain.

Under the changes, the 12 existing categories allowed for travel to the island by current law will no longer require permission. Those categories include family visits, journalists, US government officials, religious and academic activities, activities supporting the Cuban people and humanitarian projects.

Americans traveling to Cuba will now be allowed to import $400 in goods from Cuba, of which no more than $100 may consist of products of tobacco and alcohol combined, “notes the Treasury Department in a statement.

The sale and donation of products to facilitate the communication of Cubans, such as mobile phones, televisions, recorders and software will now be allowed.

The new relaxation of the embargo will allow US financial institutions to open accounts in Cuban financial institutions to facilitate the processing of authorized transactions.

The new regulations take effect Friday morning.

“We firmly believe that increased travel, trade and the flow of information to Cuba and from Cuba to the US will better advance our interests and improve the lives of Cubans,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, through a statement.

Earnest recalled that the policy of isolation that Washington had kept on the island for over 50 years “has not worked.” We believe the best way to promote our interests is through openness rather than isolation, “the spokesman added.

These amendments will not cause the total lifting of the economic and commercial embargo on Cuba, as only Congress can approve such a measure.

After more than 18 months of secret negotiations, on December 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced their decision to restore diplomatic relations after more than half a century of confrontation. High level talks in that direction will take place on January 21-22 in Havana.
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See this related post:  US Gov. Answers Questions on Cuba Travel and Doing Business

 


14 thoughts on “USA Relaxes Travel Ban on Cuba and Aspects of the Embargo

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm
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    I hope this doesn’t cause you to fall out of your chair, Terry, but I agree 100% with what you wrote above.

  • January 17, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    It’s not about me, try to remember that.

  • January 17, 2015 at 9:14 am
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    On the contrary, socialists fear science. The socialists mindset springs from the ‘cavemen’ period of mankind. Modern man, along with science, understands that the nature of humans and socialist ideology are incompatible.

  • January 17, 2015 at 1:30 am
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    Since when did you switch sides and start believing in in the link between Tobacco and cancer? – those are socialist propaganda. What next CO2 and global warming are related?, guns and violence. I cant believe I am hearing this from you Moses. LOL

  • January 17, 2015 at 12:27 am
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    I agree that there is more and more impromptu grumbling allowed in public. What I am talking about is the kind of free speech that Tania Bruguera wanted to do. Or the kind that Antonio Rodiles attempts to do with his ‘Estado de Stats’ discussions. Even the public brooding that is allowed is only up to the point Fidel’s name comes up. I know of no one that publicly call him a tyrant, torturer and murderer and get away with it. Do you?

  • January 16, 2015 at 11:27 pm
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    Who needs a freedom of thought?, you are already telling everyone constantly what to think. and Who needs satellite?, they already have you hand delivering great copies of “The Lost City”! jajajajajaj

    I think you might have this whole communism and dictator thing as a psychological projection issue.

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