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Travel Restrictions to Cuba Eased

September 4, 2009 By: Michael Grisafe Travel Agent

The Berlin Wall is down, the Soviet Union no longer exists, and China is becoming as capitalistic as the United States.  So are the anachronistic Cold War restrictions against Cuba finally thawing?


Nearly 50 years after the United States imposed trade and travel restrictions on Cuba, Americans with relatives on the island will be able to visit them for as long and often as they like without restriction.  This contrasts sharply with the once-a-year travel restriction of the past.  In addition, Americans will no longer be limited to sending $1,200 to family members and can now send unlimited cash to relatives on the island.

These new rules were made effective immediately by the U.S. Treasury Department, following President Barack Obama’s much talked about promise in April to ease U.S. trade restrictions with Cuba.  

A previous restriction limiting personal baggage to Cuba to 44-pounds was also removed, allowing visitors to bring donated personal communications devices, such as phones and computers.

However, despite travel restrictions being lifted, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control states that visitors to Cuba will still be restricted to spending $179 dollars a day while on the island, and a general ban on travel by American citizens to Cuba remains in place.

So will there ever be direct flights to Cuba?  That remains to be seen, but for now it looks like Cuba has finally been taken out of a Cold War deep freeze.

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