(Adds measures, background)
WASHINGTON Oct 14 The United States on Friday
announced new measures to further ease trade, travel and
financial restrictions on Cuba as President Barack Obama seeks
to make his opening to the communist-ruled island irreversible
before he leaves office in January.
The changes, the latest in a series of new rules since the
two former Cold War foes began normalizing relations in December
2014, will allow export to Cuba of some U.S. consumer goods sold
online and let U.S. firms improve Cuban infrastructure for
humanitarian purposes, the U.S. Treasury and Commerce
Departments said in a statement.
They also lift limits on the amount of Cuban rum and cigars
U.S. travelers can bring home for personal use.
The measures are contained in the latest Obama
administration order on Cuba to sidestep the
The U.S. Congress has resisted Obama's call to lift
Washington's more than five-decade-old economic embargo on Cuba.
Other changes announced on Friday include allowing U.S.
companies to provide safety-related services for commercial
aircraft in Cuba, where U.S. airlines are beginning regularly
scheduled flights, and allow Cuban pharmaceutical companies to
apply for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Additional reporting by Susan
Heavey; Editing by W Simon)