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New Policy Will Dramatically Alter US-Cuba Relations

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday ending decades of Washington's policy of diplomatic and economic isolation for Cuba has dramatic implications.

The new approach will re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and dramatically revamp how people in Cuba and the United States are able to interact.

Among the highlights:

- In the coming months Washington will re-establish an embassy in Havana. The U.S. will also work with Cuba on such issues as migration, counternarcotics, trafficking in persons and the environment.

- Washington will amend its Department of Treasury and Commerce regulations to allow increased support for civil society in Cuba and the free flow of information.

- Travel licenses will be available for a variety of activities, making it easier for Americans to provide business training for private Cuban businesses and small farmers, and boost the growth of Cuba's private sector.

- Remittance levels will be raised from $500 to $2,000 per quarter, and support for the development of private businesses in Cuba will no longer require specific licenses.

- An expansion of commercial sales and exports from the United States of certain goods and services.

- Americans traveling to Cuba will be allowed to import additional goods.

- U.S. institutions will be able to open correspondent accounts and Cuban financial institutions, and U.S. credit and debit cards will be allowed to be used in Cuba.

- Washington will start new efforts to increase Cubans ability to communicate freely.

- Washington will review its 1982 designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

- Washington will discuss with Cuba and Mexico the unresolved maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico

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