US eases travel, trade with Cuba from Friday

The US will ease travel and trade restrictions with Cuba after agreeing to restore ties severed since 1961The United States will ease travel and trade restrictions with Cuba on Friday, marking the first concrete steps towards restoring normal ties with the Cold War-era foe since announcing a historic rapprochement. While full-fledged tourism to Cuba remains prohibited, certain approved categories of Americans, like journalists, scholars, artists and athletes will face fewer bureaucratic hurdles to travel to the Communist-ruled nation under the new rules. American travelers will be able to use US credit and debit cards in Cuba, and bring home up to $400 worth of goods, including a $100 worth of Cuban rum or cigars. Cubans living in the United States will also be allowed to send home more money, though the United States trade embargo remains in effect.