The United States are ready to loosen the embargo on Cuba, by moderating the business restrictions and by making safer the travels for the Americans to the Island. The announcement was made by the Department of Commerce and Treasury today, on the eve of the arrival of Pope Francis to Havana – the capital of the Caribbean island – on his apostolic journey to Cuba and the United States, that will continue from 19th to 28th September.
In detail, loosening will consist in opening to communication, construction, and to US financial services. The new rules, that govern the economic relations between the two countries should go into effect on January 16 next year. Although it is up to the US Congress to put an end to the embargo, with the new rules it will be possible to use USA credit and debit cards in Cuba; export to the island goods such as mobile phones, computers, and Internet technologies; make small investments as well as operations in the field of agriculture; sell material for building Cuban private companies.
Free movement of the people, however, is still prohibited. Although, meetings concerning this topic are planned between the US and Cuban authorities in the next few days, as a sign of a common will to crumble quickly a 50-year-old law. Among the medium-short-term moves, the United States are planning to organise a trip of the Secretary of State, John Kerry, to Havana and to reopen its embassy on the island. The Holy See, as pointed out by the US President Barack Obama himself, has played an important role in the historic turning point.