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#397471 - 01/16/11 01:38 PM US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,704
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
WASHINGTON, USA (MCT) -- The Obama administration moved on Friday to make it easier for US schools, churches and cultural groups to visit Cuba and to boost the US dollars that can be sent there to support the island's growing private economy.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the changes to US-Cuba policy -- which have been rumoured for months -- are aimed at bolstering Cuba's civil society and putting distance between Cubans and their communist-led goverment.

"The president believes these actions, combined with the continuation of the embargo, are important steps in reaching the widely shared goal of a Cuba that respects the basic rights of all its citizens," Gibbs said.

A White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide background, said the aim of the changes is "to support the independence of the Cuban people, making them less dependent on the Cuban state and on Cuban authorities."

The changes restore -- and increase -- the amount of money that any American can send to any Cuban to $2,000 annually -- more than the level it was during before former President George W. Bush tightened sanctions against Cuba. There will be a quarterly limit on the amount that any American can send: $500 per quarter to "support private economic activity." The Clinton administration had set that figure at $300 a quarter.

McClatchy Newspapers

#397475 - 01/16/11 01:54 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline

#397489 - 01/16/11 07:10 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: SP Daily]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,701
Rykat Offline
Rykat  Offline
Finally..... jesse can go home! smile

GOP - The Party of Lincoln.
#397491 - 01/16/11 07:31 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Rykat]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
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Home is San Pedro...with all my Cuban friends

#397492 - 01/16/11 07:35 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,008
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Its way not over the Cubans in little boats are still coming and US tourist aren't going to have an effect on that.
Raul Castro has to die and he's a healthy 82.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#397529 - 01/17/11 12:52 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,704
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
HAVANA — Cuba said Sunday that the Obama Administration's decision to lift some travel restrictions on students, academics and religious groups and make it easier for Americans to send money were positive steps, but not nearly enough while Washington maintains its 48-year trade embargo on the island.

The changes announced last week mean that students seeking academic credit and churches and synagogues traveling for religious purposes will be able to go to Cuba. Any U.S. international airport with proper customs and immigration facilities will be able to offer charter services to the island.

The plan will also let any American send as much as $2,000 a year to Cuban citizens who are not part of the Castro administration and are not members of the Communist Party. Previously, only relatives could send money.

"Though the measures are positive," Cuba's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday, "they are well below what was hoped for, have a limited reach and do not change (U.S.) policy against Cuba."

The ministry said most of the changes simply bring U.S. policy back to where it was during the Clinton Administration, before President George W. Bush toughened restrictions. They do not alter Washington's trade embargo, which Cuba refers to as a "blockade."

"These measures confirm that there is no will to change the policy of blockade and destabilization against Cuba," the ministry said. "If there exists a real interest in widening and facilitating contacts between our peoples, the United States should lift the blockade and eliminate the restrictions that make Cuba the only country in the world to which North Americans cannot travel."

Under the embargo, American tourists are still prohibited from visiting Cuba and most trade with the island is barred.

Obama had previously made it easier for Cuban-Americans to visit family and send money home, and cultural exchanges had greatly expanded under his watch. Still, relations between the Cold War enemies remain frosty, in particular over the detention of an American subcontractor held in Cuba since December 2009 on suspicion of spying.

The changes, announced by the White House on Friday, will be put in place within two weeks. They do not need congressional approval.

#397530 - 01/17/11 01:03 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
Good News!

#397534 - 01/17/11 01:25 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 914
ckocian Offline
ckocian  Offline
This is how it was prior to Dec. 31, 2003. Humanitarian groups were allowed. But it didn't require a chartered plane. People could get to either Canada or Mexico from the US and connect to a commercial flight to Cuba.

#397641 - 01/18/11 07:16 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: ckocian]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,770
Nova Offline
Nova  Offline
So, who here has actually been to Cuba? Just wondering...

It's never too late to have a happy childhood!
#397645 - 01/18/11 07:40 PM Re: US to ease travel restrictions to Cuba [Re: Nova]  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,001
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
I sent 600 students over a 3 yr time frame, ended at the Gitmo re-population.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
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