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President Obama lifted import restrictions on two things Cuba does best: rum and cigars

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Good news, travelers: You can now leave Cuba with plenty more rum and cigars.

Cuban cigars and rum for all

The Obama administration announced Friday it is eliminating a $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and cigars that American travelers can bring back from the island.

Previously, U.S. travelers could only return from the communist island with $400 worth of merchandise and no more than $100 worth of tobacco and alcohol.

Using executive action, the White House is slowly easing the 50-year-old U.S. economic embargo on the island.


What will this mean for US trade and travel?

President Obama on Friday said that challenges and tension between the United States and Cuba are still very real, but he expects this new cigar and rum initiative will help address those differences and "make progress on behalf of our interests and values."

 "The progress of the last two years, bolstered by today's action, should remind the world of what's possible when we look to the future together."


Additional changes announced Friday:

  • Cuban pharmaceuticals can receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and be marketed, sold and distributed in the United States.
  • American scientists will be allowed to work on joint medical research with their Cuban counterparts.
  • Cargo ships can visit U.S. ports immediately after departing Cuba.

More changes announced Friday:

  • Americans can award more grants in larger amounts to Cubans.
  • U.S. businesses can work in Cuba to develop civil aviation security system.
  • Cubans can purchase American-made goods online.
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