On December 17, 2014, the President of the United States announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions.
There was an update on the Treasury website today as follows:
OFAC has published a new Cuba-related frequently asked question
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OFAC has posted a frequently asked question in connection with the President’s announcement on changes to U.S. policy with respect to Cuba.
Q. How will OFAC implement the changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President on December 17, 2014? Are the changes effective immediately?
A. OFAC will implement the Treasury-specific changes via amendments to its Cuban Assets Control Regulations. The Department of Commerce will implement the remainder of the changes via amendments to its Export Administration Regulations. OFAC expects to issue its regulatory amendments in the coming weeks. None of the announced changes takes effect until the new regulations are issued.
As this announcement simply marks the start of the process to normalize relations, there is both Presidential and Congressional actions that must be taken before all restrictions are lifted. Until then, present law is in force.