The government of United States announced new measures that extend to its citizens easier travel, do business, remittances and provide telecommunications services in Cuba , in a further step towards easing the economic blockade and on the eve of the trip Pope Francisco to the island.
the new measures will take effect on Monday, September 21, announced the departments of Treasury and Commerce, and these changes will not cause the total lifting of the economic and commercial embargo, as only Congress can decide.
in line with the easing of restrictions that began in January, a month after the start of the process to normalize bilateral relations, the measures announced today are designed "to support the emerging Cuban private sector," he said in a statement US secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker , along with Treasury secretary Jack Lew .
Lew said these regulations emphasize the "commitment" of President Barack Obama to "promote constructive change for the Cuban people" and stressed that a "more open and strong" bilateral relationship has the potential "to create economic opportunities for Americans and Cubans alike."
the announcement it was on the eve of Francis Pope, who had a leading role in promoting the historic bilateral approach paper, visit Cuba from tomorrow and the United States since Tuesday 22.
Specifically, under the new rules Americans can maintain physical presence in Cuba through an office or store, in sectors such as journalism, agriculture and construction, mail and postal, telecommunications and travel companies, among others. In addition, businesses that are installed on the island can hire Cuban citizens, as well as open and maintain bank accounts there.
Although tourism on the island still been banned for most Americans, Washington will further facilitate travel to a number of them, as long as they fall within the 12 existing categories of persons authorized to travel to the island by current legislation people.
these categories are counted those who make family visits, journalists, government officials, those who want to go for religious activities or support the Cuban people and those involved in humanitarian projects.
Promptly transport ship be allowed between the US and Cuba passengers allowed to travel to Cuba and they can do so directly, without having to go through third countries. In the sector of telecommunications and the Internet, they authorized Americans can serve in association with Cuban entities.
The Obama administration will further facilitate educational exchanges with universities and academic institutions Cuban. Treasury Secretary said that by relaxing the sanctions "America is helping the Cuban people in their efforts to achieve political and economic freedom to build a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba."
In a conference call with journalists, an American senior official explained that the possibility of having "physical presence" on the island is "a big step", although he added that the requirements set by the government of the island to establish business are "out of control" US.
According to the president of the Economic Council and US-Cuba trade John Kavulich , it is "the biggest change in trade and investment" between the two countries "in decades" .
last week, Obama renewed for another year the so-called Law of Trading with the Enemy, which supports the embargo imposed on Cuba more than half a century ago to be able to maintain his executive authority to relax sanctions the island in the process of bilateral normalization.
the president was in favor of lifting the embargo, something that can only make the Republican-led Congress and this week urged the country's businessmen to pressure legislators about