September 28, 2015 – Back in January of this year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)related to Cuba. These changes were intended to further “engage and empower the Cuban people by easing sanctions related to travel, telecommunications, and internet-based services, business operations in Cuba, and remittances.” The Amendments were finally published last Monday (September 21, 2015).
What does this mean for the Cuban people?
For the past fifty or so years, the CACR and the EAR has served as the principal mechanism through which the United States embargo against Cuba has been enforced. With the relaxation (although not the lifting) of these regulations, Cuba will hopefully benefit from the increased ease with which U.S. citizens may enter the country.
Moreover, American businesses are now permitted to export telephones, computers, and Internet technology to Cuba and to send supplies to private Cuban firms, which will hopefully result in drastically improved technological services in the country.
The opening of the American embassy in Havana is yet another step for the countries to normalize relations, which many believe will push the Cuban government to adopt policies that will help the Cuban people.
“Major Changes to Cuban Assets Control and Export Regulations Create New Opportunities for Trade.” Blank Rome LLP. Blank Rome LLP, 21 January 2015. Web. 28 September 2015.
Scism, Chelsea. “US to Open Embassy in Cuba. What That Means.” The Daily Signal. The Daily Signal, 1 July 2015. Web. 28 September 2015.