From NBC's Chuck Todd and Domenico Montanaro
Ahead of Friday's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, President Obama was thought to change portions of U.S.-Cuba policy. When he'd make an announcement, though, was an open question. The end of the week is busy for the president, on Thursday, he heads to Mexico City.
The White House now is confirming a Miami Herald report, outlining what President Obama will announce with regard to Cuba. Here are some bullet-point details from the report:
- Lifting travel restrictions for Cuban Americans, allowing them to travel more freely to the island
- Lifting gift restriction for Cuban Americans, allowing them to send additional financial help to family members. (-- Expanding the items that can be sent to the island, including clothing, personal hygiene items and fishing equipment."
- "Licensing steps to open up greater communication to the island"
- The trade embargo remains in place
- And still prohibited: "Sending items to senior government officials and Communist Party members"
The Herald calls the policy "the most significant U.S. gesture to Cuba in decades."
"This is an effort to reach out to the Cuban people in an effort to support the Cuban people's desire to freely determine their country's future," a senior administration official told the paper. "The president has said this is the most direct means to open up the kind of space that is necessary to see democratic change in Cuba."