President Lifts Restrictions on Cuban Cigars and Rum Brought Back for Personal Use
While many people might consider President Obama a “lame duck” at this point, rum and cigar lovers certainly think the prez is a pretty “cool duck” as of this morning.
Perhaps looking to bribe Americans into appreciating his forthcoming legacy with a bit of booze and tobacco, President Obama announced today that US travelers would soon be able to bring back unlimited amounts of Cuban rum and cigars to the United States, from anywhere in the world, as long as it is for personal use. The new rules go into effect on Monday – probably pissing off anyone who booked their travel plans to return from Cuba this weekend. “Change my flights and buy me a bigger suitcase!” I’m sure someone in Havana is saying.
“Challenges remain — and very real differences between our governments persist on issues of democracy and human rights — but I believe that engagement is the best way to address those differences and make progress on behalf of our interests and values,” Obama was quoted as saying. It’s certainly not the first time people have tried to bond over rum and cigars.
Related: HOW TO TRAVEL TO CUBA
These latest regulatory changes, which also include loosening of other restrictions on things like pharmaceuticals and cargo shipping, replace the previous tobacco and booze policy the president established back in January 2015 that gave Americans travelling to Cuba a $100 limit on their rum and cigar stash when returning to the States. What the new rules don’t do, however, is allow individuals not travelling outside of the US to import these products – meaning buying Cuban cigars online, for instance, is still illegal. And since all imports must be for “personal consumption,” we also probably won’t be seeing these products on American store shelves anytime soon.
But then again, Obama still has a few months left in his presidency, so who knows? Hell, maybe next up he’ll let us start bringing back Jamaican weed and Bolivian marching powder and then we’ll really have ourselves a party!