Washington announced today further loosening of air travel and export financing restrictions related to Cuba.
The amendments, “will remove restrictions on payment and financing terms for authorized exports and re-exports to Cuba of items other than agricultural items or commodities,” according to a statement from the Treasury and Commerce Departments.
“Today’s amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations build on successive actions over the last year and send a clear message to the world: the United States is committed to empowering and enabling economic advancements for the Cuban people,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in the statement.
“They are basically saying we are opening the door to allow for approval if you want to sell to a state-owned enterprise,” said James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a Washington-based group promoting trade with Cuba.
Also, traveling to Cuba without a specific permit (self-certification) will include film and TV production, market research, marketing, professional meetings and sports events.
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. Here is a complete report of all recent Cubamacare actions.
Several weeks ago, a senior aide to President Barack Obama said that the US may end a program that encourages Cuban doctors and nurses on overseas assignments to defect.
Started under President George Bush in 2006, The Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program targets Cuba’s doctors, nurses and other medical professionals abroad. The export of Cuba’s medical personnel provides Cuba a vital source of bartered cash and oil, most notably from Venezuela.