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Monday, April 13, 2009 

Obama Eases Restrictions On Travel To Cuba

"Washington -- President Obama is permitting unlimited travel and transfer of money by Cuban Americans to their relatives and is taking other steps to ease restrictions on dealings with Cubans, while keeping a long-standing U.S. embargo against trade with the neighboring island in place.

A formal announcement is planned at the daily White House press briefing this afternoon, a White House source has confirmed.

The president is attempting to aid Cubans in their pursuit of political freedom by making them less dependent on the Castro regime.

The steps taken today, announced in advance of the president's planned attendance at a weekend Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, will include allowing Cuban Americans to send gifts to their families and supports cellphone communications in Cuba.

The Bush administration had restricted travel, limiting passage to the island to two weeks every three years for immediate family members only. About 1.5 million Americans have relatives in Cuba, which hundreds of thousands have fled since Fidel Castro first claimed power in 1959."

LA Times

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