Office of the Spokesperson
February 13, 2015
Empowering the Cuban people and Cuban civil society is central to our approach to Cuba. The President’s December 17, 2014, announcement and the January 16, 2015, regulatory changes issued by the Departments of Commerce and the Treasury create new opportunities for Cuba’s nascent private sector. These measures will help independent Cuban entrepreneurs access the information and resources they need to improve their living standards and gain greater economic independence from the state.
As of January 16, Americans may send unlimited remittances to individual Cubans in support of private businesses and independent non-governmental organizations, and may engage in certain microfinance activities, entrepreneurial training, and development projects in Cuba under general licenses. U.S. companies are permitted to export items such as building materials, equipment, tools, and supplies for use by the Cuban private sector, without the need for a license. The measures also allow for more engagement by U.S. telecommunications and internet-related companies in Cuba to support better communications and access to information by the Cuban people.
Today, the State Department published its “Section 515.582 List,” which characterizes goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs that may be imported into the United States. The list can be found at http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/cuba/515582/index.htm, along with additional information about this provision, which is authorized by the Treasury Department’s Cuban Assets Control Regulations. The State Department will update this list periodically. (U.S. Department of State's website)