About a month and a half after commercial travel between the U.S. and Cuba was resurrected, the Obama administration has announced that it’s easing restrictions on trade between the two countries.
Among other things, that means that you can now bring more Cuban cigars and rum into the U.S, the Associated Press reports. Prior to Friday’s announcement, travelers entering the U.S. could only bring in a combined $100 worth of Cuban cigars and rum. Now, they can return from the island with up to 100 cigars and a few bottles of rum, possibly adding up to thousands of dollars worth.
Additionally, the U.S. has eased restrictions on cargo ship travel between the two countries. Previously, cargo ships were not allowed to dock at U.S. ports for about six months after docking in Cuba. Now, they can travel directly from Cuba to the U.S. The Obama administration has also lifted restrictions on joint medical research between researchers in the U.S. and Cuba.
“Challenges remain—and very real differences between our governments persist on issues of democracy and human rights,” Obama stated during the announcement. “But I believe that engagement is the best way to address those differences and make progress on behalf of our interests and values.”
The first commercial flight in over half a century from the U.S. to Cuba took off on Aug. 31. The number of Americans traveling to the island is expected to double this year from last year’s 160,000.