Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Key Elements of US Policy Shift toward Cuba

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Key Elements of US Policy Shift toward Cuba

Article excerpt

The U.S. and Cuba will begin taking steps to restore full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in more than half a century. Key elements of changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba, some of which President Barack Obama announced at the White House on Wednesday:

ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

Obama has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba on re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba; ties were cut off in January 1961. This step includes reopening a U.S. Embassy in the capital of Havana and carrying out high-level exchanges and visits between the governments as part of normalization.

EXPAND TRAVEL

TO CUBA

Restrictions would be eased under general licenses for 12 existing categories of travel to Cuba, as authorized by U.S. law. They are: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation or transmission of information or related materials; and certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines. Tourist travel remains banned.

increase REMITTANCES

The amount of money anyone in the U.S. will be allowed to send to Cuban nationals, except certain government or communist party officials, will increase from $500 to $2,000 per quarter, or every three months. Early in his presidency, Obama allowed unlimited family visits by Cuban-Americans and removed a $1,200 annual cap. …

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