14ymedio (with information from agencies), Havana, 8 March 2016 – The president of the United States, Barack Obama, is pondering announcing new changes in regulations regarding travel, trade and banking before or during his visit to Cuba, scheduled for 21-22 March, according to a revelation from Reuters on Tuesday. The news agency cited as sources congressional aides and people outside of government, some of whom indicate 17 March as a possible date for the announcement.
Following the implementation of a package of relaxation measures in January and September of 2015 and in January of 2016, Reuters claims that Obama’s advisors are considering changes to authorize individual trips to the island, although within the framework of the current 12 permitted categories of purposes, which exclude tourism.
A source close to the discussions informed the agency that the White House is examining the possibility of using the dollar in trade with Cuba. The deputy National Security advisor and advisor to Obama, Ben Rhodes, told the New York Times this Sunday that the island’s government has complained that the embargo forces it to make international transactions in euros and other convertible currencies.
The US president will travel to Cuba this month in the company of 20 members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. Among them is Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, one of the main promoters of easing the restrictions of the embargo.