Your fantasy of puffing away on a Cuban cigar with a well-made Daiquiri in hand is now one step closer to reality. In the latest move to ease trade restrictions between the United States and Cuba, Americans will now be able to bring home as many cigars and bottles of rum as they wish. The new regulations will also make it easier for the U.S. to import Cuban pharmaceuticals, and American agricultural companies will now be able to sell to Cuba. In a statement issued Friday, the Obama administration said the latest batch of rules are set to make the renewal of U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba “irreversible” after he leaves office in January.
“The Treasury Department has worked to break down economic barriers in areas such as travel, trade and commerce, banking, and telecommunications,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew of the decision to relax the rules on Cuban products. “Today’s action builds on this progress by enabling more scientific collaboration, grants and scholarships, people-to-people contact, and private sector growth.”
It’s a welcome change for cigar enthusiasts and rum drinkers alike: While Obama had eased the five-decade long ban on the items in 2014, there was still a $100 limit on rum and cigars carried by Americans traveling directly out of the country. Considering that just last a year a box of quality Cubans could still fetch up to several hundred dollars a pop, the restrictions, while a nice improvement, left tourists with a rather lean bounty to bring back.
It still won’t be as easy as walking into your local store and picking up a bottle of Havana Rum for cocktail hour, though. The new rules only apply to authorized travelers to Cuba who purchase the goods while there, and it has to be for personal use. This means you won’t be able to order them online, either. In other words, as traveling to Cuba grows easier by the day, it’s the perfect excuse to book a vacation: We hear that one-way tickets to Havana are a steal right now. It’s lit!