Earlier this month President Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and a series of actions aimed at easing travel and trade restrictions.
Here is a summary of some of the changes being made in U.S.-Cuba relations:
- There have been no diplomatic relations with Cuba since the early 1960s, after Fidel Castro and his Communist government came to power, and now relations will be re-established and an American embassy will open in Havana.
- In 1982, Cuba was designated a state sponsor of terrorism. Now Secretary of State John Kerry will review the designation.
- Citizens and permanent residents of the United States are not permitted to travel to Cuba, with some exceptions. Now President Obama is opening up general licenses to travel for these reasons: public performances, workshops, and athletic competitions; support for the Cuban people, including human rights work; humanitarian work; private foundations and institutes; information dissemination; and travel related to export of authorized products.
- U.S. institutions will be able to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions.
- Travelers to Cuba will be allowed to use American credit and debit cards.
- U.S. entities in third countries will be allowed to engage in transactions and meetings with Cuban individuals in third countries.
- Licensed American travelers will be able to import $400 worth of goods (including up to $100 in tobacco and alcohol).
- Authorized travelers are now permitted to carry $3, 000 in remittances to Cuba. No limits on sending remittances to close relatives.
- Remittances of up to $2, 000 can now be made per quarter to any Cuban national for humanitarian needs.
Our People-To-People Program in Cuba offers an authentic and affordable educational travel experience to Cuba and has all the proper licenses since before this shift in U.S.-Cuba relations. Meet with local students, teachers, artists, farmers, clergy and/or community leaders to learn first-hand about daily life on this island nation – and share American culture, government, education, sports and daily life with local Cubans.
Sources: Department of Treasury, White House, Congressional Research Service