U.S., Cuba Reopen Embassies, Business Opportunities Still Limited

The United States and Cuba re-opened embassies in each other's capitals on Monday, restoring full diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years.
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The United States and Cuba re-opened embassies in each other's capitals on Monday, restoring full diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years. No formal celebration is planned Monday for the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, instead, a flag-raising ceremony will take place in August, presided over by Secretary of State John Kerry. The restored diplomatic relations between the countries means diplomats from both the U.S. and Cuba have more freedom to travel and more citizens that fit within 12 pre-approved travel groups can visit Cuba without getting a special license from the Treasury. Those groups under exception include those traveling for family visits, journalistic activity, religious purposes, humanitarian projects, public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions and others. Travel for pure tourism is still prohibited. More relaxed restrictions also means U.S. financial firms can work with Cuban banks and some exports are now approved. However, a U.S. economic embargo against Cuba will remain in place.