Monday, March 30, 2009
Momentum appears to be building for a further easing of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. According to a Washington Post article today, there will be a news conference on Capital Hill tomorrow to announce a new bill easing travel restrictions for Americans who want to go to Cuba. The bill appears to have greater support than similar ones introduced in Congress in the past. President Obama already lifted restrictions put in place by the Bush Administration on travel and foreign remittances by Cuban Americans with family in Cuba. His action appears to be consistent with his call for a "new strategy" with respect to Cuba. There is talk that President Obama will lift travel restrictions on all Americans who wish to go to Cuba prior to his participation in the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in mid-April. While the President alone cannot end all aspects of the embargo on Cuba without Congressional involvement, the Treasury Department does have significant leeway to tighten or loosen the embargo through its regulations and its decisions to grant or refuse licenses for transactions with Cuba. Stay tuned!