Obama Lifts Restrictions On Cuban Cigars

As a person going on his honeymoon in just a couple of weeks, this news couldn’t come at a better time. The laundry list of personal friends who want me to bring them back a Cuban cigar is longer than a shopping list for The Cigar Authority food budget. While I still might not bring them a cigar, it just got a lot easier for me and you to buy Cuban cigars and rum.

Up until today it has been illegal to bring back Cuban cigars and rum unless you were on the island nation and then you were limited to $100 in purchases. Today, President Obama signed an executive order that removed restrictions on Cuban cigars and rum purchases abroad. The one catch, they are only for personal consumption. The measure does not change that it continues to be illegal to sell either of these products in America.

The measure does not allow for these purchases to be made online and shipped to your home and only exists if you are traveling in a country where Cuban cigars and rum are sold.

The new regulations that were issued by the U.S. Treasury Department also make it easier for US Companies to import Cuban made pharmaceuticals and allows U.S. agricultural companies to sell their products to the island nation, and allows Cubans to buy U.S. made goods.

According to a story in the USA Today, “The Treasury Department has worked to break down economic barriers in areas such as travel, trade and commerce, banking, and telecommunications,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said. “Today’s action builds on this progress by enabling more scientific collaboration, grants and scholarships, people-to-people contact, and private sector growth.

The measure marks the first time in 5-decades that Americans can legally purchase Cuban rum and cigars no matter where they travel as long as the product is legal in the country of purchase. It also marks the first time that these products can be brought back into the United States since the embargo which still remains, was put in place.

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