Obama to OK Family Visits to Cuba

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2009 7:53 PM CDT
Cuba's President Raul Castro, center, talks with Cuban officials at a ceremony to commemorate the ICAI's 50th anniversary in Havana, Tuesday, March 24, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Prensa Latina)
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(Newser) – President Obama is close to letting Cuban-Americans travel freely to Cuba and send unlimited funds to families there, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amid growing pressure from Democrats in Congress, Obama plans to fulfill a campaign promise and loosen current restrictions, which allow Cuban-Americans to visit family once a year and send up to $300 to each household in Cuba receiving money.

"It's time to let Cuban-Americans see their mothers and their fathers, their sisters and their brothers," Obama said on the campaign trail last May. "It's time to let Cuban-American money make their families less dependent on the Castro regime." But Obama is not planning to lift America's trade embargo on Cuba or reach out diplomatically. Experts speculate that Obama will loosen restrictions before the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago this month.