U.S. Lightens Travel Restrictions to Cuba

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on September 7, 2009

Americans who have relatives living in Cuba will now be able to send them money and visit more regularly, as the United States announced that its long held bans on Cuban travel will be lessened.  In the past, Cuban Americans were only allowed to send just over a thousand dollars to relatives in Cuba and were only allowed to visit them one time per year.  There was also a weight limit on the amount of luggage visitors from the United States could bring to Cuba, but that too has been lifted.

President Obama made a pledge early on in his campaign to halt the nearly 50 year ban the United States has imposed on Cuban travel.  However, this new bill is only valid for people with family members on the island and there are still limits on the amount of money travelers can spend once they are there.

The new bill does place restrictions on the amount of money visitors can spend in Cuba, imposing a limit of less than two hundred dollars per day.  However the easing of the baggage weight limit is an important change, as now relatives can transport used items for donation to poorer relatives.  Things like computers and cell phones are hard to come by in Cuba, so now relatives will be able to provide these items more easily.

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