Pack an Empty Suitcase: Now You Can Legally Bring Back Way More Cuban Rum and Cigars


Hey, American fans of Cuban rum and cigars: Get ready to bust out those smokes and drinks, because it's time to celebrate!

The Obama administration has announced that it's majorly upping the $100 limit on the value of those items that U.S. travelers to the island can bring back.

Rum and cigars from Cuba will now simply be subject to the same duties as smokes and spirits from other countries around the world that have less fraught relationships with America. What that means is you can likely expect to bring back 100 cigars and multiple bottles of rum. Because quality cigars from Cuba can easily go for $100 each outside the island, U.S. travelers could feasibly expect to bring back thousands of dollars worth of them — versus perhaps just one good one, legally, in the years before the rules changed.

In a statement from the White House, president Obama said, "I approved a Presidential Policy Directive that takes another major step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. This Directive takes a comprehensive and whole-of-government approach to promote engagement with the Cuban government and people, and make our opening to Cuba irreversible."

The statement continued, "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."

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