President Obama has directed his administration's leadership to allow unlimited travel and money transfers by Cuban Americans to family in Cuba. But, administration officials say the President will keep the decades-old U.S. trade embargo, arguing the policy provides leverage to pressure the Castro regime to free all political prisoners. That move would be seen as one step toward normalized relations with the United States and Cuba.
Other steps taken by the Obama Administration expands the list of items allowed in gift parcels being sent to Cuba. The items include clothes, personal hygiene items, seeds, fishing gear and other personal necessities. The administration also will begin issuing licenses to allow telecommunications and other companies to provide cell and television services to the people on the island.