US Loosening Rules on Travel to Cuba, Use of Dollar - NBC Bay Area
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US Loosening Rules on Travel to Cuba, Use of Dollar

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that Americans can now take "people-to-people" trips to Cuba on their own instead of on expensive group tours

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    US Announces Loosening of Cuba Travel, Currency

    Just a few days ahead of President Obama's visit to Cuba, the US announced new loosening of restrictions on Cuba travel and use of the dollar. (Published Tuesday, March 15, 2016)

    The U.S. is loosening rules on travel to Cuba and the Cuban government's use of the dollar, removing obstacles to closer ties between the two countries five days before President Barack Obama makes a historic trip to Havana.

    The Obama administration announced Tuesday that Americans can now take "people-to-people" trips to Cuba on their own instead of on expensive group tours.

    That means any American can legally go to Cuba as long as they fill out a form asserting that their trip was for educational purposes instead of tourism.

    The measure is expected to help fill demand for direct flights that U.S. airlines hope to launch in coming months.

    The new measures also allow U.S. banks to process Cuban government transactions that pass even momentarily through the U.S. banking system.

    A ban on those transactions crippled Cuba's ability to buy and sell goods internationally and become one of Cuba's biggest complains about the U.S. trade embargo on the island.