Business & Economy

In further thaw with Cuba, US relaxes rules on visiting, money and business

New rules issued by the U.S. on Friday will make it easier for cruise ships and airlines to service Cuba.
New rules issued by the U.S. on Friday will make it easier for cruise ships and airlines to service Cuba.
Desmond Boylan/AP

Next week, it will be easier for people, money, and goods to flow between Cuba and the U.S., which announced a new round of relaxed sanctions Friday. The changes also allow U.S. companies to provide Internet and communications services in Cuba.

The new rules by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Commerce will take effect Monday.

"This qualifies as huge," John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, tells NPR's Michele Kelemen. "We'll see what the Cubans do with it, but from the U.S. side, this is just unprecedented."

Michele reports for our Newscast unit:

"Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says a stronger more open U.S.-Cuba relationship has the potential to create economic opportunities for Americans and Cubans alike. The Commerce secretary says the goal is to support Cuba's emerging private sector.

"U.S. companies will be allowed to establish offices or warehouses in Cuba, as well as have joint ventures on the island. It will be easier for airlines and cruise ships to service Cuba, and regulations will be eased on software sales.

"John Kavulich says these moves could be difficult for Cuba to manage. Cuba would still have to ease its restrictions for U.S. businesses."

Here are some highlights of the new regulations, from the Treasury Department's statement issued Friday morning:

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