In Further Thaw With Cuba, U.S. Relaxes Rules On Visiting, Money And
SEPTEMBER 18, 201510:34 AM ET
Next week, it will be easier for people, money, and goods to flow
between Cuba and the U.S., which announced a new round of relaxed
sanctions Friday. The changes also allow U.S. companies to provide
Internet and communications services in Cuba.
The new rules by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of
Commerce will take effect Monday.
“This qualifies as huge,” John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba
Trade and Economic Council, tells NPR’s Michele Kelemen. “We’ll see what
the Cubans do with it, but from the U.S. side, this is just unprecedented.”
Michele reports for our Newscast unit:
“Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says a stronger more open U.S.-Cuba
relationship has the potential to create economic opportunities for
Americans and Cubans alike. The Commerce secretary says the goal is to
support Cuba’s emerging private sector.
“U.S. companies will be allowed to establish offices or warehouses in
Cuba, as well as have joint ventures on the island. It will be easier
for airlines and cruise ships to service Cuba, and regulations will be
eased on software sales.
“John Kavulich says these moves could be difficult for Cuba to manage.
Cuba would still have to ease its restrictions for U.S. businesses.”
Here are some highlights of the new regulations, from the Treasury
Department’s statement issued Friday morning:
– Academic exchanges and joint non-commercial academic research with
universities or academic institutions in Cuba will also be authorized.
– Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be allowed to establish a
business presence in Cuba, including through joint ventures with Cuban
entities, to provide certain telecommunications and internet-based
services, as well as to enter into licensing agreements related to, and
to market, such services.
– The limits on donative remittances to Cuban nationals other than
prohibited Cuban Government or Cuban Communist Party officials,
currently set at $2,000 per quarter, will be removed entirely. The
limits on authorized remittances that individuals may carry to Cuba,
previously $10,000 for persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction and $3,000
for Cuban nationals, will also be removed entirely.
– Banking institutions will be able to open and maintain accounts for
Cuban individuals for use while the Cuban national is located outside of
Cuba, and to close such accounts.
– Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction engaging in the following
categories of authorized activities will be allowed to establish and
maintain a physical presence, such as an office, retail outlet, or
warehouse, in Cuba: news bureaus; exporters of certain goods authorized
for export or reexport to Cuba by Commerce and OFAC, such as
agricultural products and materials for construction or renovation of
privately-owned buildings; entities providing mail or parcel
transmission services or certain cargo transportation services;
providers of telecommunications or internet-based services; entities
organizing or conducting educational activities; religious
organizations; and providers of carrier and certain travel services.
These individuals and entities will also be authorized to employ Cuban
nationals, open and maintain bank accounts in Cuba, and employ persons
subject to U.S. jurisdiction in Cuba.
Source: In Further Thaw With Cuba, U.S. Relaxes Rules On Visiting, Money
And Business : The Two-Way : NPR –