[UPDATE] Official: Obama to Ease Cuba Travel Restrictions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

[UPDATE] 1-16 10:07 PM

Cuba says the Obama Administration's decision to lift some travel restrictions on students, academics and religious groups and make it easier for Americans to send money is a positive step, but not nearly enough while Washington maintains its 48-year trade embargo on the island.

The changes announced last week mean that students seeking academic credit and churches and synagogues traveling for religious purposes will be able to go to Cuba. Any U.S. international airport with proper customs and immigration facilities will be able to offer charter services to the island.

"Though the measures are positive," Cuba's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday, "they are well below what was hoped for, have a limited reach and do not change (U.S.) policy against Cuba."

Tallahassee, FL (AP) - A senior administration official has
confirmed that President Barack Obama will loosen Cuban travel
policy to allow students and church groups to go to the communist

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity Friday because
an official announcement had not been made, said students seeking
academic credit and churches traveling for religious purposes will
be allowed to go to Cuba.

Also, any American will be allowed to send as much as $500 every
three months to Cuban citizens who are not part of the Castro
administration and are not members of the Communist Party.

More international airports will be allowed to offer charter
service. Now, only three airports can do so.

Sen. Bill Nelson's office had earlier outlined the changes.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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