US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced the beginning of the process normalizing relations between Cuba and the United States on 17 December 2014. The historic move, following months of secret negotiations and finally made possible by the release of detained US Aid Contractor Allen Gross. The following changes are announced by the US President.
1) DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS: The President has instructed the Secretary of State to re-establish an embassy in Havana and carry out high level exchanges and visits between the two governments.
2) EXPANSION OF TRAVEL AND TRADE: The administration has decided to expand family visits, professional meetings and support for the Cuban people and also increase commercial trades between the two countries.
3) LARGER REMITTANCES : Remittances for families sending cash from US to Cuba will be increased by $1500 per quarter for general donative remittances.
4) EXPANDING CUBAN INTERNET : In order to increase access to internet, export of certain items that will add to the ability of Cubans to communicate with the world will be initiated. This will include items for the the establishment and update of communications related systems.
5) TERRORISM REVIEW : Cuba has been listed as “state sponsor of terrorism” since 1982. In order to clear the air, Barack Obama has instructed to “immediately launch” a review of that status and provide a report to the president within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism.
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