US to begin lifting Cuba trade barriers

The Obama administration is putting a large dent in the US embargo against Cuba as of today, significantly loosening restrictions on American trade and investment.

The new rules also open up the communist island to greater American travel and allow US citizens to start bringing home small amounts of Cuban cigars after more than a half-century ban.

Yesterday’s announcement of new Treasury and Commerce Department regulations are the next step in President Barack Obama’s plan to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. They come three days after US officials confirmed the release of 53 political prisoners Cuba had promised to free.

Only Congress can end the five-decade embargo. But the measures give permission for Americans to use credit cards in Cuba and US companies to export telephone, computer and internet technologies.


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