The United States announced yesterday that it will ease its sanctions on Cuba as part of its wider efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Many aspects of the US economic embargo on Cuba will remain in place. US sanctions will be eased in several areas including expanded permitted imports and exports between the USA and Cuba, increasing categories of travel licences and facilitating money transfers to Cuba and money transactions between the countries. The list of the proposed amendments to the current restrictive measures can be found here.
The US Treasury Department’s statement says that the changes will be effective when its Office of Foreign Asset Control revises the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, which is expected to take place in the next few weeks. The White House’s press release states:
“It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba… We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state. With our actions today, we are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities. In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens we seek to help.”