US opens door wide to Cuba travel ahead of Obama visit

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WASHINGTON: The White House on Tuesday opened the door wide for Americans to visit Cuba, even as tourism remains officially banned on the eve of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to the communist island. The Obama administration declared that Americans could visit the island freely for “individual people-to-people educational travel,” chipping away at the nation’s five-decade-old embargo on Cuba, which Congress has refused to repeal. No longer will travelers have to go with an organized group, as required under recent rules. New guidelines issued by the Treasury Department are broad enough to permit many kinds of tourism. They mainly require “meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba” and “support for the Cuban people.”

AFP

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