This week in the news, Cuba was reported to have told its citizens not to get their hopes up too high about an end to the embargo. I recognize the challenges in achieving a complete end to the embargo, since it's Congress rather than the president who would have to act on that.
But I have a couple of thoughts about how Cuba acts in that regard.
1. The penalty of 10% on exchange of American dollars is still in effect in Cuba. Previously, I always exchanged U.S. Dollars for Canadian Dollars before traveling to Cuba to avoid that penalty. But this time the Canadian Dollar was lower and it would have cost me more. With the changes, and if Cuba really wants to encourage Americans to visit and spend money, I hope it will eliminate that penalty.
2. I bought a 32 inch flat screen t.v. and took it to my relatives. It cost less than two hundred dollars. I also bought a 1 terabyte hard drive for relatives. Customs made a big deal over these two gifts, and were not pleasant to me. Finally, I had to pay $250 in cash as a tax for taking in a television that did not even cost that much. That severely reduced the cash I had taken to spend on food, lodging and transportation. If Cuba wants us to take products in, either individually or on a large-scale basis, it should consider eliminating this huge tax.
I also had clothes and other general gifts, which were not a problem.