U.S. eases more travel and financial restrictions against Cuba

On Wednesday, March 15, just days before President Barack Obama made his historic visit to Cuba, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a further easing of restrictions brought on by the 54-year-old economic embargo against Cuba.

The new regulations make it easier for Americans to travel to the island, most notably allowing individuals to travel to Cuba under “people to people” educational trips, which previously had been limited to groups.

It also loosened restrictions business transactions between the two countries and on Americans’ ability to purchase Cuban merchandise, including Cuban-made cigars.

Among other things, U.S. banks will also be allowed to open bank accounts in the U.S. for people living in Cuba and vessels will be permitted to transport cargo from the U.S. to Cuba and then sail to other countries.

The changes took effect on March 16.