WASHINGTON (CN) – The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has implemented President Obama’s April initiative to liberalize travel and export to Cuba.
Before the initiative, permission to travel to Cuba was granted on a case-by-case basis. Those able to prove they were visiting only immediate family members could go to Cuba for 14 days once every three years. Travelers also were limited to spending $50 per day while there.
The frequency and duration limits have been eliminated under the new regulations, and while travelers must show they are visiting close family members, the definition of family has been extended to include nephews, nieces and cousins.
Authorized remittances to family members in Cuba previously had been limited to $300 in any consecutive three month period and could only be made to immediate family. Now, those in the U.S. can send as much money to Cuba as they want, at any time. The rule also expands eligible recipients to include extended family unless the recipient is on the list of government officials and Communist Party leaders prohibited from receiving them.
President Obama has said that he hopes these changes will promote greater contact between separated family members in the U.S. and Cuba, and will increase the flow of remittances and information to the Cuban people.