Updated 09:11 AM EDT, Tue, Sep 17, 2019

US Eases Up on Cuba's Embargo to Enhance Travel, Trade & Finance Relations 

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The US government has recently announced that some aspects of the Cuba embargo are easing, but will not be lifted completely.

The measures, which will affect travel, trade, and finance, will take effect on Wednesday, as noted by a joint statement from the US Departments of Treasury and Commerce.

According to the Havana Times, the Obama administration noted that the "restrictions on payment terms and financing of authorized exports and re-exports to Cuba of goods will be lifted, as well as on agricultural goods or commodities." Until the embargo was lifted, The New York Times noted that for American products to get into Cuba, they must be paid for in advance, and then routed through another country, making the process tiring and burdensome.

Other things like textbooks, construction machinery and sanitation equipment will be approved by the American government on a case by case basis.

Still, among all the businesses that are now accessible, the fact that television shows and movies can now film in Cuba makes one of the biggest impacts, as it can opens the doors to many opportunities, not only for Hollywood scenery, but for locals who can get jobs in production as well. Reuters noted that Conan O'Brien and Showtime series "House of Lies" has already started to film, having shot scenes and segments in Havana recently.

CNN Politics said that this easing is the result of the high-level talks between the two countries that started about a year ago. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that the new measures "send a clear message to the world: the United States is committed to empowering and enabling economic advancements for the Cuban people."

The head of the anti-embargo US group said that while the initial exceptions to the embargo were criticized, new regulations were more sensitive to the intricacies of Cuba's economy.

However, the US is still waiting for Cuba to reciprocate the easing of trade and business to the other country. Via ABC News, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said "Just as the United States is doing its part to remove impediments that have been holding Cubans back, we urge the Cuban government to make it easier for its citizens to start businesses, engage in trade, and access information online."

To cement ties, The New York Times noted that President Obama is pushing to ensure that US-Cuban relations normalize before he leaves office. Among his intentions is to travel to Cuba before ending his term, a move that many reckon will "highlight progress" between the two countries.

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