If You Have A Reason To Go To Cuba, You Can Now Bring Cuban Rum And Cigars Back To The U.S. With You

You can get a Cuban sandwich in almost any city in the U.S., but it’s been fifty years since it was last legal to have a Cuban rum drink along with it, or to go smoke a Cuban cigar on the patio out back afterwards. Until today.

The United States and Cuba today announced a historic rekindling of diplomatic relations. International tensions put an icy chill over the hundred-mile stretch of the Caribbean between the two nations’ shores in the 1960s, and the U.S. has had trade and travel sanctions against Cuba in place ever since.

Today’s major shift in policy toward Cuba not only changes global relations, but also the availability of certain consumer goods. You still can’t bring a goat home (from anywhere) in your luggage, but travelers to Cuba are now allowed to bring $400 of purchased goods back within American borders. Up to $100 of that can be alcohol and/or tobacco.

A hundred dollars’ worth of alcohol and tobacco aren’t exactly large scale imports, granted. But they are dramatic increases from the previous legally acceptable amounts, which were zero.

Travel to Cuba just for the sake of tourism is still a no-go, under federal law. But the Obama administration is seeking to expand travel to Cuba within the law. There are twelve reasons travelers are permitted to head to Havana and back: family visits, government business, journalism, professional meetings or research, education, religious activities, humanitarian projects, foundation work or research, import and export work, artistic or athletic performances, clinics, workshops, and “support for the Cuban people.”

American credit cards will also now work in Cuba, so if you do know anyone who’s traveling there, they now have no excuse not to bring you back a souvenir… drinkable or otherwise.

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