TALLAHASSEE, Florida — President Barack Obama plans to loosen Cuban travel policy to allow students and church groups to go to the communist country, the administration announced Friday.
Students seeking academic credit and churches traveling for religious purposes will be able to go to Cuba. The plan will also let any American send as much as $500 every three months to Cuban citizens who are not part of the Castro administration and are not members of the Communist Party.
Also, more airports will be allowed to offer charter service. Right now, only three airports — in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City — can offer authorized charters to Cuba. That will be expanded to any international airport with proper customs and immigration facilities as long as licensed travel agencies ask to run charters from the airport.
The White House press office sent out a release saying Obama had directed the changes, which do not need congressional approval. They will be put in place within two weeks.