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Obama relaxes restrictions for Cuba

world Updated: Apr 14, 2009 07:36 IST
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Meeting one of his major campaign promises, US President Barack Obama has announced a series of changes in America's policy to reach out to the Cuban people in support of their desire to freely determine their country's future.

Bringing cheers to more than 1.5 million Cuban-Americans,the Obama Administration said yesterday it has lifted all
restrictions related to the travel of family members to Cuba and removed restrictions on remittances to their family
members in the island.

These moves, the White House said, would help bridge the gap among divided Cuban families and promote the freer flow of information and humanitarian items to the Cuban people.

"The President has directed the Secretaries of State,Treasury and Commerce to carry out the actions necessary to
lift all restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit family members in Cuba, and to send them remittances," White
House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Obama has further directed that steps be taken to enable the freer flow of information among the Cuban people and
between those in Cuba and the rest of the world, as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian items directly to the Cuban people, Gibbs said.