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US to loosen restrictions on Cuba

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THE HANDSHAKE THAT BEGAN IT ALL: Obama shakes the hands of President Raul Castro at the funeral of Mandela in South Africa last year.

THE HANDSHAKE THAT BEGAN IT ALL: Obama shakes the hands of President Raul Castro at the funeral of Mandela in South Africa last year.
THE HANDSHAKE THAT BEGAN IT ALL: Obama shakes the hands of President Raul Castro at the funeral of Mandela in South Africa last year.

The Obama administration said that it will loosen trade, finance, and travel embargo against Cuba.

The US Departments of Treasury and Commerce ¬†announced regulatory amendments to sanctions on Cuba following the US president’s announcement of a set of diplomatic and economic changes to chart a new course in US relations with Cuba in December 2014, Xinhua reported.

The new changes will facilitate travel to Cuba, allow US financial institutions to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions to facilitate the transactions processing, change export policy and authorise the flow of certain goods and services to Cuba with a licence.

It will also allow a number of activities, such as telecommunications, financial services, and shipping.

The new rules will take effect from Jan 16.

In December 2014, US President Barack Obama announced a new policy towards Cuba, in a move to normalise relations and end more than five decades of estrangement between the two countries.

Obama said he had instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to initiate talks with Cuba on restoring diplomatic relations with the island country, which were severed in January 1961.

He added that the US would reestablish an embassy in Havana and high-ranking officials will visit Cuba.

 

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