Celebracion! Administration Lifts Restrictions on Cuban Cigars and Rum.
PHOTO: The famed Cohiba cigars, made in Cuba. (Photo via Facebook)
That collective whooping and cheering you heard this morning, however muffled it might have been, came in a rare show of approval for a government edict.
The Obama Administration has lifted the restrictions on the amount of Cuban cigars and rum you can bring back to the United States, setting off celebrations among connoisseurs of both the well-known alcohol and tobacco products made on the island.
Current restrictions limit travelers to bringing back just $100 in combined value of rum and cigars from Cuba, though certainly many have tried to slip through customs with more.
The new restrictions? There are none.
American visitors to Cuba can now bring back an unlimited amount of cigars and rums.
"This directive takes a comprehensive and whole-of-government approach to promote engagement with the Cuban government and people, and make our opening to Cuba irreversible," President Obama said in a statement issued by The White House.
But there will be one small, well, let’s not call it a restriction or a limit as much as a potential roadblock – finances.
Cuban cigars, like the famed Cohiba, can be as much as $100 for a single cigar. Cuban rum and cigars will be subject to the same duties as alcohol and tobacco from other countries, and Americans are also now permitted to buy those Cuban products in other countries and bring them back to the U.S.
There will be no online merchandising, so you will have to travel to Cuba or any of the other Caribbean islands that sell the products.
Still, it’s a big day for many who throw caution to the wind when it comes to these vices.
Ever since the President restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014, the restrictions on trade and travel have slowly been easing. The new edict on rum and cigars was part of a package of changes from the U.S. Treasury Dept. to increase trade with Cuba.
The restrictions on the types of trips American travelers can take to Cuba is still limited to 12 categories, including educational and journalism, and none of which include a straight tourist trip or vacation. Many have been able to get around that, however.
"The Treasury Department has worked to break down economic barriers in areas such as travel, trade and commerce, banking, and telecommunications," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement. "Today’s action builds on this progress by enabling more scientific collaboration, grants and scholarships, people-to-people contact, and private sector growth."
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