Obama Loosens Travel Restrictions To Cuba

Makes it easier for students and religious groups to travel to Cuba
President Obama has taken steps to ease travel restrictions from the U.S. to Cuba. // © 2011 U.S. Department of the Interior
President Obama has taken steps to ease travel restrictions from the U.S. to Cuba. // © 2011 U.S. Department of the Interior

Last month, President Obama announced that he intends to loosen travel restrictions from the U.S. to Cuba. The President issued an executive order that broadens legal purposes for travel to Cuba to include purposeful travel, such as travel by religious groups, students seeking higher education and journalists. It also includes the reinstatement of a general license that allows U.S. citizens to send remittances up to $500 per quarter for non-family members living in Cuba, as long as those remittances are not directed toward senior Cuban government officials or senior members of the Cuban Communist Party. Obama also eased regulations governing U.S. international airports that provide services to licensed charters that fly to and from Cuba.

Travel organizations, such as the National Tour Association (NTA), have applauded the President's announcement.

"Freedom to travel anywhere is a basic element in our rights as U.S. citizens," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "We're thrilled about President Obama's latest move, and we anticipate this will spark even greater interest in what is already a huge desire for Americans to go to Cuba."

Until Obama's announcement last month, only U.S. citizens with close relatives in Cuba or those in possession of very restricted licenses were able to travel to the Caribbean island nation.

National Tour Association
www.ntaonline.com

The White House
www.whitehouse.gov
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