In December, President Obama announced a series of actions aimed at easing travel and trade restrictions between the United States and Cuba. With these changes, Global Volunteers is prepared to begin a new relationship with our community partners in Ciego de Ávila.
Highlights of the changes being made in U.S.-Cuba relations include:
- Once relations are re-established, an American embassy will open in Havana. There have been no diplomatic relations with Cuba since the early 1960s, after Fidel Castro and his Communist government seized power.
- Secretary of State John Kerry will review the 1982 designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.
- General licenses have been opened up for travel for these purposes: public performances, workshops, and athletic competitions; support for the Cuban people, including human rights work and humanitarian work; business of private foundations and institutes; information dissemination; and export of authorized products.
- U.S. institutions may now open accounts at Cuban financial institutions.
- Travelers to Cuba may now use American credit and debit cards.
- Licensed American travelers may now import $400 worth of goods (including up to $100 in tobacco and alcohol).
- Authorized travelers may now carry $3, 000 in remittances to Cuba. No limits on sending remittances to close relatives.
- Remittances of up to $2, 000 may now be made per quarter to any Cuban national for humanitarian needs.
We welcome the opportunity to serve our host community and Cuban people across the island in broader and more productive ways!
Photos by Global Volunteers Cuba Program member Kathy Turner