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Until they completely lift the tourist ban all together, we won't see U.S. cruise ships calling there just yet.
Diplomatic opening: The U.S. will take steps toward restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba, severed since 1961. The travel ban will still be in place, as will the embargo, but the embargo's impact will be eased. And some preexisting exceptions to the travel ban will be expanded.
Embassy in Havana: This will include the goal of reopening a US embassy in Havana in the coming months. The embassy has been closed for over half a century.
Release alleged Cuban spies: The US will release three Cubans who were convicted of espionage and imprisoned in the US: Gerardo Hernandez, Luis Medina, and Antonio Guerrero.
All three prisoners were members of the "Wasp Network," a group that spied on prominent members of the Cuban-American community. CNN reports that Hernandez, the group's leader, was also linked to the downing of two two civilian planes operated by Brothers to the Rescue, a U.S.-based dissident group.
Easing business and travel restrictions: The U.S. will make it easier for Americans to obtain licenses to do business in Cuba, and to travel to the island. CNN reports that the new rules still won't permit American tourism, but will make it easier to visit for other purposes.
Easing banking restrictions: Americans will be able to use credit and debit cards while in Cuba.
Higher remittance limits: Americans will be able to send up to $2000 per year to family members in Cuba. Cuban-American remittances are a major source of income for many Cuban families.
Small-scale imports of Cuban cigars and alcohol: US travelers will be able to import up to $400 in goods from Cuba, including $100 in alcohol and tobacco products.
Review of basis for sanctions: Secretary of State John Kerry has been ordered to review Cuba's status as a "state sponsor of terrorism." If his review determines that Cuba no longer deserves that status, that will be a first step towards lifting at least some US sanctions.
[ 12-17-2014: Message edited by: jeremya ]
Too much propaganda on both sides and imho the continuing of these sanctions are ridiculous, but of course I was not around at the time and have no first hand knowledge of the goings on. Only the elderly now do and younger generations are relying on stories passed down through family/friends, no doubt with a bit of embellishment.
The United States Interests Section - former Embassy. The stage and flag poles were constructed by the Cubans to 'hide' an electronic billboard on the embassy building
Lets hope that US citizens can soon do the same.
I remember over 50 years ago now when the P & O passenger ship ' ss Chusan ' was cruising in the Caribbean we visited San Juan for an overnight stay.
There had been problems with Cuba about an order for new buses being supplied from the UK being blocked and we had flood lights hanging along the side of the ' ss Chusan ' to light up the water in case any underwater divers tried to attach explosives to the bottom of the ship.
We also had a ship's life boat in the water patrolling along the side of the ship with the ship's officers, many of whom had served with the British Royal Navy, armed and instructed to shoot anyone in the water near the ship ! .
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