As part of their expanding ties, the United States and Cuba want to establish direct postal service and come up with a plan for regularly scheduled commercial flights between the two countries by year’s end, according to the Associated Press.
“Significant progress” has been made in the effort to transform commercial dealings between the two countries, said an unnamed American official, who reportedly is familiar with their diplomatic discussions.
The official, not authorized to publicly talk about the changes, said U.S. President Barack Obama is moving on his own in the next few days, with a new set of rules designed to further loosen the economic stranglehold on Cuba.
In January, Obama eased restrictions on travel to Cuba and the ability to export computers, Internet technology and cellphones to Cuba. However, those efforts have been snarled by a combination of paperwork and U.S. laws, plus an uneven response from Cuban officials.
For the most part, U.S. travelers to Cuba must still go on supervised group tours if they want to visit the island. As for the technology, telecommunications equipment hasn’t reached the masses and even government offices lack Internet access.
The official said Obama’s new rules should help untangle some of the red tape that tourists and businesses have run into.