Let the good times roll!
The Obama administration lifted restrictions on Cuban rum and cigars Friday, allowing Americans traveling abroad to bring home all the Cuban rum and cigars they want.
The new round of executive actions announced by the Obama administration are meant to increase trade and travel with Cuba. The orders also successfully end restrictions on the island’s famed rum and cigars.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting Cuban cigars and rum:
Is this the first time people are allowed to bring back Cuban cigars and rum?
No. The Obama administration had partially lifted a five-decade ban on Cuban cigars and rum already by allowing Americans traveling directly to Cuba to return home with up to $100 in rum and cigars in their carry-on luggage.
But now, the $100 limit is gone, and Americans can purchase Cuban cigars and rum from anywhere they find the products abroad. That means all those Cuban bottles and boxes at duty free shops in foreign airports are fair game. The only restriction, according to Treasury: “Normal limits on duty and tax exemptions will apply.”
It’s Friday, where can I get Cuban cigars and rum around here?
If you assumed the lifted restrictions meant you could walk into a CVS and pick up a Cuban cigar, you were wrong. Under the new rules, travelers can purchase unlimited quantities of Cuban rum and cigars in any country where they are sold so long as they are for personal consumption.
Wait, so I can’t get them online?
No. You can’t order Cuban rum and cigars on Amazon and have them delivered to your door. We’re betting Amazon hopes that’ll change.
If you want to purchase Cuban cigars and rum, you have to get yourself to Cuba.
I want Cuban cigars. How do I get to Cuba?
Southwest Airlines announced Thursday it would begin scheduled flights to Cuba on Nov. 13, following competitors to serve the Caribbean island after a 50 year hiatus from the U.S.
JetBlue was first when it launched a route from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba, on Aug. 31. Others joined suit, including Silver Airways on Sept. 1 with turboprop service and American Airlines, which flew first to Cienfuegos and Holguin on Sept. 8.
Prior to JetBlue’s launch, U.S. flights to Cuba operated as charters that could be sold only through tour operators approved by the federal government. Tickets were typically expensive and booking cumbersome.
Contributing: Bart Jansen