Big Changes Announced Ahead of Obama’s Historic Trip to Cuba

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Author: Angelika Albaladejo

The Latin America Working Group celebrates the regulatory changes the White House announced today ahead of President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba. We also call on the administration to do more toward normalizing relations with Cuba!

President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Cuba next week marks the first time in more than 80 years that a sitting U.S. president will visit the island. Obama’s administration says the trip will focus on increasing engagement between the United States and Cuba, advancing normalization, and encouraging more economic reforms in Cuba.

Join us on social media to celebrate advancements & push for further change in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Today, the White House announced new regulatory changes on travel and business ahead of President Obama's historic trip…

Posted by End the Travel Ban on Cuba on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Today, the U.S. government announced new and significant changes to the regulations ahead of the President’s visit from March 21 to 22. Using his executive powers, Obama has further loosened travel restrictions and has eased limits on the use of U.S. dollars in trade transactions.

The changes allow individuals to visit the island for “people-to-people educational travel” without requiring them to go with a group tour, as well as allowing U.S. dollar transactions, allowing Cubans to open U.S. bank accounts and authorizing those living in the United States to earn a salary or compensation.

These changes are a positive step and go a long way in facilitating travel and business engagement, but there is so much more that remains to be done. The President can take further steps to advance U.S.-Cuba relations and Congress must act to change the law.

See this checklist of executive actions the President can and should take, as compiled by our colleagues at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

In light of these new changes and ahead of the President’s trip, let’s thank the Obama administration for the advancements made since 2014 and continue urging further executive actions and congressional action to end the embargo once and for all!

Thanks for all you do to advocate for a new U.S. policy toward Cuba!