U.S. To Ease Cuba Restrictions Today


A White House official has confirmed to CBS News a Miami Herald report that the Obama administration will lift some travel and gift restrictions related to Cuba today.

The move will mark the greatest change in U.S. policy towards Cuba in decades.

Under the new guidelines, Cuban Americans will be able to travel more freely between the two countries. They will also have an easier time sending money and goods to friends and family back in Cuba.

The embargo will remain largely in place, however, and sending items to senior Cuban government officials will continue to be prohibited.

A senior administration official told the Miami Herald that "The president has said this is the most direct means to open up the kind of space that is necessary to see democratic change in Cuba."

The announcement will coincide with the fifth Summit of the Americas that will take place in Trinidad this week. The summit brings together leaders of North and South America to discuss issues affecting the Western Hemisphere.

Latin American leaders have pushed Mr. Obama to ease U.S. restrictions on Cuba, the Herald reported.

President Obama has said that Cuba must offer justice to its political prisoners and establish freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and free and fair elections.