Dozens of Cuban companies are off a U.S. blacklist

havana-live-la_habana_de_noche_desde_el_mar_1_copia_0HAVANA, 24 Mar. Dozens of Cuban companies are no longer blacklisted by the United States.

The Treasury Department has announced Tuesday that, in an effort to improve diplomatic relations with the communist island nation, dozens of Cuban companies have been removed from a U.S. blacklist that demarcates supporters of terror as well as narcotics traffickers.

According an Associated Press article, several of the firms that will now be free to engage in open commerce with the U.S. are connected to Cuba’s tourism industry. Some of the Cuban companies include cruise lines and tour operators.
Several of the companies are located in Panama. Two of them are actually located in the United States, and some sail with the Greek Cypriots flag. As reported in the Associated Press article, companies and individuals on the department’s “specially designated nationals” list are banned from doing any business in the United States.

Once the Cuban government is removed from a separate terrorism list, the U.S. and Cuba will likely start negotiations over re-establishing embassies in each other’s respective capitals. President Obama has ordered a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba, which have been severed since 1961.

In January, Obama asked Congress to begin to lift the embargo against Cuba during the State of the Union address. As reported by ABC News, Obama said: “In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date.
When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new.” “Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.
And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo,” stated the president.