A new set of regulations, including U.S. travel to Cuba, will go into effect on Friday following last month’s announcement by U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro that the countries would renew ties after decades of tensions. CCTV America’s Michael Voss reported this story from Havana.
The regulations, put forth by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments are aimed at increasing travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba. According to the White House, the aim is to help Cubans become less dependent on the state and facilitate a growing relationship with the Cuban people. They are also aimed at boosting U.S. trade.
Washington announces new rules to promote travel, trade to CubaA new set of regulations, including U.S. travel to Cuba, will go into effect on Friday following last month’s announcement by U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro that the countries would renew ties after decades of tensions. CCTV America’s Michael Voss reported this story from Havana.
Americans still cannot travel as tourists, but it will now be easier for them to travel on organized people-to-people tours, learning about the economy, or on religious, educational or cultural visits. There is no limit on how much they can spend, and they can use U.S. credit cards, all good news for the small businesses in Cuba.
“The private sector is really looking forward to more tourists. It will be good for us, good for Cuba, it will help everyone,” Omara Mata, a private restaurant owner said.
Help in improving communications is another major policy change.
Cuba is among countries with the lowest Internet penetration in the world, and U.S. companies will now be able to export mobile phones, computers, and other technology needed to improve the telecommunication and Internet infrastructure.
U.S. companies are already allowed to sell food and agricultural products to Cuba, but Cuba must pay in cash and in advance and now prefers to buy rice from Vietnam and chicken from Brazil.
The new rules will now allow payment on delivery and for the first time, U.S. banks can also handle transactions to and from Cuba.
Joseph Humire of Ctr for a Secure Free Society discusses US-Cuba ties
CCTV America interviewed Joseph Humire, the executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society about what the new U.S. guidelines on Cuba will mean for U.S. citizens.