According to a Reuters report, President Obama will announce additional measures to ease travel and trade restrictions on Cuba on March 17.
The announcement will closely precede his historic visit to the Communist-ruled island later this month.
Today’s news is the latest in a steady, slow drum beat of actions taken by Obama to leverage executive authority to dismantle various Congressional rules that together make up the US embargo against Cuba. We call these actions Cubamacare. Here is a complete report of all recent Cubamacare actions.
The measures are expected to include changes to make it easier for individual Americans to visit Cuba if they qualify under 12 authorized categories of travel such as educational or cultural visits, as well as further loosening of trade and banking rules, said the sources, who were briefed on the matter by administration officials.
Some critics suggest Obama has gone too far in loosening restrictions with Cuba without requiring any significant concessions from the Castros. Obama believes engagement is the best option. Here are Obama’s remarks upon announcing his upcoming trip to Cuba: “You see, I believe that the best way to advance American interests and values, and the best way to help the Cuban people improve their lives, is through engagement—by normalizing relations between our governments and increasing the contacts between our peoples. I’ve always said that change won’t come to Cuba overnight. But as Cuba opens up, it will mean more opportunity and resources for ordinary Cubans. And we’re starting to see some progress.“