US Treasury further eases travel and export restrictions for Cuba

Posted: 27-Jan-16 07:10

Having taken effect as of yesterday, last Tuesday the US Treasury Department announced a list of new measures further easing travel regulations for Americans visiting Cuba and facilitating non-agricultural export restrictions for Cuba. Part of Obama's administration's continuous efforts to normalise diplomatic relations with its largest Caribbean neighbour, these latest actions keep lighting the way for the complete removal of the embargo.

US Treasury further eases travel and export restrictions for Cuba

After formally announcing further changes to the U.S.’s policy of sanctions against Cuba, further ease of travel for American citizens and the lifting of some regulations pertaining exports to the island, Obama’s administration keeps moving full steam ahead towards its goal of fully eliminating the embargo.

Yesterday marked yet the end to more hurdles and restrictions as new measures announced by the U.S. Treasure Department on Tuesday 26th January came into full effect.

These latest regulatory changes were unveiled by the White House’s National Security Spokesperson, Ned Price, who released a statement that read:

" These changes will remove financing restrictions for most types of authorized exports, amend regulations to increase support for the Cuban people and facilitate authorized exports, and further facilitate authorized travel."

Coming into effect as of Wednesday 27th January, the new amendments will now allow U.S. banks to provide financing for exports of any products outside agricultural commodities, when previously American goods exported to Cuba required either an advance cash payment or needed to involve a third country.

Further restrictions on travel include the removal of further legal barriers to allow for code-sharing and leasing arrangements with Cuban airlines, a move that had been eagerly expected by both Cuban and American aviation authorities in light of the new commercial flights between Cuba and the U.S. which are expected to resume within the first half of 2016.

As part of the official statement release issued yesterday, the US Treasury Department was eager to:

“...send a clear message to the world: the United States is committed to empowering and enabling economic advancements for the Cuban people."

Newly authorised travel purposes to the island that had been previously prohibited under embargo law now include new travel categories for American visitors. US travellers can now visit Cuba on the basis of professional meetings and conferences, professional media, public performances, artistic productions and athletic competitions.

Part of Obama’s recent push to keep working at eliminating further ideological, economical and political barriers between the two neighbouring nations, Treasury Department’s Secretary, Jacob J. Lew as part of the official statement release:

" Today's amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations build on successive actions over the last year and send a clear message to the world: the United States is committed to empowering and enabling economic advancements for the Cuban people.

" We have been working to enable the free flow of information between Cubans and Americans and will continue to take the steps necessary to help the Cuban people achieve the political and economic freedom that they deserve."

Speaking about the progress already made on eliminating cultural, social, economical and diplomatic barriers between Cuba and the U.S.; during a recent speech in Congress, Obama said:

"Now on Cuba we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years it’s time to try something new and our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere, it removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba, stands up for democratic values and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. This year, congress should begin the work of ending the embargo."


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