Obama Eases Cuban Restrictions, Lifts Rum And Cigar Limits

Americans who are travelling to Cuba can now take home more rum and cigars from Cuba. The new measures which were announced by the government last month aims to ease travel, financial and travel restrictions which have been there for too long.

New rules for Cubans and Americans

Cuba welcomed the new measures. This is partly President Barack Obama’s effort to make the opening irreversible when he leaves the White House by January. However, they did not push it too far.

The latest of these new rules also included allowing Cubans to purchase some U.S. consumer products online, letting Americans and Cubans do collective medical research together and opening the doors for the Cuban pharmaceutical companies to start doing businesses in the United States.

With regard to the American travellers, the biggest revision to the rules is the limit removal for rum and cigar amounts that they are able to pack in luggage for personal use.

This is definitely good news for Americans who are doing South America Tours and looking to buy more to bring home.

Susan Rice, a U.S. National Security Adviser, says that Americans can already celebrate with Cuban cigars and Cuban rum.

Other details to the new rules

However, U.S. still has bans for general travel to Cuba. The administration still made use of regulatory packages making it easier to visit the Cuba under the 12 authorized categories.

These rules are part of the executive order for which Obama wants to sidestep the Congress controlled by Republicans mostly that refused the president’s lift of Washington’s economic embargo.

The Republicans are criticizing him for doing too much for Cuba with little return.

The steps will enable the Cuban pharmaceutical companies to seek U.S. regulation approval, let American firms improve infrastructure for Cubans and authorize Americans to provide aircraft services for safety reasons in Cuba.

Under the new measures, foreign ships with cargo are permitted to go to the U.S. ports for freight loading and unloading after they dock in Cuba.

Cuban Foreign Ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs, Josefina Vidal expresses how these measures are positive but still limited in nature.