And the flowers are still standing – US eases travel restrictions with Cuba

One full day in to the new arrangements between the US and Cuba and the flowers are still standing. Despite the whining of certain elected officials, the new policies will help foster change in Cuba, if only because of Cuban demands based on rising inequality (more on that tomorrow). At the same time, the Castro regime is no closer to exporting its model of development to the US than it was on Thursday.

What will take place in the coming months will be renewed cooperation on migration (which we have always negotiated with Cuba) and more importantly bringing that country online with ever-faster internet connection. My cousin Javier – an Argentine living in Miami – has always said that if we gave Cubans greater access to the internet, ‘freedom’ would follow shortly thereafter. We will soon test this hypothesis, but it will take time.

From the BBC:

US-Cuba travel restrictions eased

New travel and trade rules between the US and Cuba have come into effect in the biggest policy shift between the two countries in more than 50 years.

Measures include allowing US citizens to use credit cards in Cuba and for US businesses to export some technologies.

Americans will be able to take home up to $100 (£66) in alcohol and tobacco from Cuba.

The move implements last month’s agreement to re-establish ties severed since 1961.

Although the latest moves put a large dent in the US trade embargo against Cuba’s communist government, only Congress can lift it completely.

Earlier this week, US officials said Cuba had completed the release of 53 political prisoners agreed as part of the historic deal.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-30836679

[Crossposted at texanabroad.blogspot.com]

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