Senate Committee Votes to Undo Travel Restrictions to Cuba

A U.S. Senate panel Thursday approved legislation that would expand travel to Cuba, Reuters reports. The bill would loosen tough restrictions placed on travel to Cuba in 2004, but will be attached to a fiscal 2009 spending bill for the Treasury Department and other agencies that likely will not be completed by Congress until early next year.

If approved, the change approved would allow Cuban-Americans to visit Cuba once a year to visit family, an improvement upon the current restriction that allowed travel once every three years with a maximum of 14 days on the Caribbean island. The current daily spending limit on Cuba of $50 per day would increase to $160 a day. In addition, the change would lift restrictions that excluded aunts, uncles and first cousins from family travel to the island.

The measure would also relax restrictions on agricultural trade with Cuba and lift requirements that Cuban importers prepay all shipments, allowing them to instead pay when the items are delivered.

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