One Step Closer to Normalized Relations with Cuba?

Will I finally be able to fly directly to Cuba to enjoy Cuban cigars on the beach?

In a measured break with a half-century of U.S. policy toward communist Cuba, the Obama administration lifted restrictions Monday on Cuban-Americans who want to travel and send money to their island homeland.

In a further gesture of openness, U.S. telecommunications firms were freed to seek business there, too. But the broader U.S. trade embargo remained in place.

The White House portrayed its changes as a path to promoting personal freedom in one of the few remaining communist nations.  But the moves fell far short of the more drastic policy adjustments that some — including Republican Sen. Richard Lugar — have argued are required to promote U.S. interests in Latin America and to bring about change in Cuba.  For most Americans, Cuba remains the only country in the world their government prohibits them from visiting — a barrier to potential travelers as well as to the Cuban tourist industry that would like to see them.

I really don’t have a dog in this fight, and most rational cigar smokers know that Cuba isn’t the end all be all for quality cigars, but I hope one day to be able to buy a Cuban sticks at my favorite cigar lounge.

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