Obama to ease Cuba travel for education

You can only go to Cuba if President Obama takes the fun out of it. He’s looking for ways to ease travel restrictions, particularly for educational and cultural trips. This follows last year’s liberalization of travel to Cuba for Americans with family on the island.

Currently, Americans can only travel to Cuba on educational or cultural trips under certain conditions – e.g., if they are students or employees at qualifying universities and stack up against an additional set of requirements, such as conducting research toward a graduate degree.

According to a spokesman for the White House National Security Council: “We will continue to pursue policies that advance the U.S. national interest and support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their country’s future.”

Obama’s activity isn’t new, according to Bloomberg News:

Travel and trade restrictions on Cuba have been adjusted by nearly every U.S. administration since then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower established trade limits in 1960, following Fidel Castro’s revolution against the U.S.-backed Batista regime. Former President George W. Bush banned some educational exchanges not directly related to academic coursework in 2003, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

[photo by hoyasmeg via Flickr]