As President Barack Obama heads to Cuba for his historic visit, more liberalization stemming from the December 2014 talks appears to be in the wind. Despite relaxation of relations, until now US citizens still could not travel to Cuba as “tourists.” Americans were permitted to make educational visits to Cuba in tour groups but now that is changing. According to the New York Times the tourism ban enshrined in the embargo has barred individuals from traveling there on their own will be removed under the March 15, 2016 revisions.
According to the Times, The Obama administration on Tuesday announced it would allow individuals to travel to Cuba for “people to people” educational trips as well as lifting limits on the use of American dollars in transactions with Cuba.
Reported new regulations also allow Cuban citizens not seeking to immigrate to this country to earn salaries in the United States, a move that essentially permits performers and other temporary visitors to be paid here in dollars. They also expand access to the U.S. financial system, allowing increased dollar transactions for Cuban businesses.
“Today’s amendments build upon President Obama’s historic actions to improve our country’s relationship with Cuba and its people. These steps not only expand opportunities for economic engagement between the Cuban people and the American business community, but will also improve the lives of millions of Cuba’s citizens,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.