News & Noteworthy

Turning Back the Clock on Cuba…Kind of

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Jun 20, 2017 10:15:00 AM

On Friday, June 16th, President Trump announced changes to the U.S. policy towards Cuba. His new Cuba policies seek to enhance compliance with U.S. law, hold the Cuban regime accountable for human rights abuses, further U.S. national security and foreign policy interests and those of the Cuban people, and lay the groundwork for empowering the Cuban people to develop greater economic and political liberty. Although much of the Obama Administration’s policies remain intact (such as the sending of remittances to Cuba, the expansion of telecommunications and internet access for Cuban people, support for the sale of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices, and the end of the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” immigration policy), President Trump’s policies are likely to impact two key areas:

  1. trade/business as it seeks to end economic practices that benefit Cuban military, intelligence, or security agencies or personnel; and
  2. travel-related transactions as it seeks to enforce the ban on U.S. tourism to Cuba.

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Topics: Cuba, Sanctions, OFAC

Obama Administration Moves Full Steam Ahead on Cuban Policies

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Oct 19, 2016 3:29:45 PM

President Obama and the administration are moving full steam ahead to normalize bilateral relations with Cuba. On October 17, 2016, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively, to ease sanctions related to scientific collaboration, humanitarian activities, trade and commerce, and travel. Consistent with President Obama’s policy directive in December 2014 to chart a new course with respect to U.S.-Cuba relations, these amendments are aimed to create new opportunities for collaboration and commercial opportunities for Cubans and Americans. Specifically, new general licenses and authorizations were added to the regulations to allow for such transactions. Significant highlights are noted below.   

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Topics: Sanctions, Cuba