Cuba Travel Ban Eased For Families

April 13, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The restrictions on travel to and from their homeland and the U.S. for Cuban families has been lifted. Under President Bush, Cuban Americans were only allowed to travel to Cuba once every three years for a maximum of 15 days, to spend only $59 a day while there and to send a maximum of $1,200 per year to their entire family still living on the island.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today during a White House news briefing.
“The president has directed the secretaries of State, Treasury and Commerce to carry out the actions necessary to lift all restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit family members in Cuba and to send them remittances.”

Specifically, the President has directed the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Commerce to take the needed steps to:

· Lift all restrictions on transactions related to the travel of family members to Cuba.

· Remove restrictions on remittances to family members in Cuba.

· Authorize U.S. telecommunications network providers to enter into agreements to establish fiber-optic cable and satellite telecommunications facilities linking the United States and Cuba.

· License U.S. telecommunications service providers to enter into roaming service agreements with Cuba’s telecommunications service providers.

· License U.S. satellite radio and satellite television service providers to engage in transactions necessary to provide services to customers in Cuba.

· License persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to activate and pay U.S. and third-country service providers for telecommunications, satellite radio and satellite television services provided to individuals in Cuba.

· Authorize the donation of certain consumer telecommunication devices without a license.

· Add certain humanitarian items to the list of items eligible for export through licensing exceptions.

Gibbs also said the president instructed the Commerce Department to consider the resumption of direct commercial flights to Cuba.  Administration officials say the measures will stop well short of a full repeal of the nearly 50-year-old trade embargo of Cuba however.


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