A scant 90 miles south of Key West, Florida, Cuba is a tempting travel destination for many Americans. Sadly, it is of limits due to US government restrictions that have been in place since the early 60s. With each new presidential administration the policies towards the small island nation change, and the Obama administration has just announced very significant changes in travel-related policy towards Cuba. It isn’t wide open, but things are much, much easier for many folks now.
In short, folks with existing ties to Cuba (family still on the island) will now be permitted to travel to Cuba as often as they want. They will also be permitted to send money to their relatives without limits. This is a monumental change from the most recent set of limits – one trip every three years and only $300 every three months. Restrictions on commercial operations in Cuba will also be reduced, with telecom carriers being permitted to operate there, for example. That’s great news for those folks.
The bad news is that the main public impact of the embargo – prohibition on general tourist travel – will remain in place. The embargo is not going away in its entirety. So casual travel to the island is still off the books for the vast majority of Americans. But there does seem to be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, more so than at any place in the past 20 years.
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