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U.S. easing into more Cuba commerce

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 01:23

The United States has issued new regulations that will make it easier for many companies who want to do business with Cuba, targeting travel, telecom, internet and banking. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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On Monday it will get easier for some U.S. companies to do business with Cuba. The Obama administration announcing new rules to ease trade, travel and investment restrictions. Companies in certain areas, like travel, telecom, and agriculture can now do business in Cuba, though there are some limitations. The new rules also permit telecommunications and internet services between the two countries. It will be good for business, says Ted Piccone of Brookings Institution. SOUNDBITE: TED PICCONE, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In certain categories, it does move the needle. So, if I'm a telecommunications company, for example, AT&T or Verizon, I can now open a physical presence on the island. I can not only sell or donate phones, I can loan or lease phones, so if I have a phone lease program, I can do that on the island under the new rules." Verizon said, it would begin offering roaming wireless service next week. The U.S.' moves also lifts limits on how much money can be sent to the island. These actions come after the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic ties this summer. The Pope, who's set to visit the U.S. next week, has long condemned the economic embargo. The changes do not lift that 53-year old embargo. Only Congress has the power to do that. Critics of the deal point out that Cuba has given no concessions, especially on human rights issues.

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U.S. easing into more Cuba commerce

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 01:23