WASHINGTON (CN) – President Obama has extended, for a year, provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act that allow the president to ban financial transactions between entities under U.S. and Cuban jurisdictions.
The act, passed in 1917 to restrict trade with countries the president has determined to be hostile to the U.S. in times of war, was first applied to Cuba in 1961 and prohibited travel of U.S. citizens to Cuba.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter restored the right of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, which has since been severely restricted by former Presidents Reagan and Clinton.
Only journalists, professional researchers or people visiting relatives-extended by Obama last year to include aunts, uncles and cousins-or those whose entire travel costs are borne by the Cuban government may travel to Cuba, due to the act’s financial restrictions.
Obama’s liberalization of travel and financial restrictions for U.S. citizens and Cuban exiles living in the U.S. is not affected by this most recent executive action as it simply extends the president’s authority to place restrictions on financial transactions with Cuba under the act.
Since President George W. Bush removed restrictions applied to North Korea, Cuba has been the only nation subject to the restrictions of the Trading with the Enemy Act.
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