Travel Weekly interviewed Venable partner Ashley Craig in an October 25, 2016 article on the easing of restrictions on Cuban cigars and rum. The move by President Obama allows Americans to purchase and bring home unlimited quantities of two of Cuba’s signature products for personal consumption. Imports of both products had been restricted under the Cuban embargo since 1962.
"Relaxing the cigar-and-rum regulation is a popular move, and probably the last which will be announced by the White House under Obama," said Craig. "He did this by executive order, which makes it more difficult to roll back if the next president wants to do that. The rollback would require a lengthy process, involving many government agencies that would have to revisit all the new regulations put in by the Obama administration." He described the move as an "interesting footnote to the last two years," referring the announcement of normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba in 2014.
"The White House also has streamlined the process of exporting products from the U.S. to Cuba and vice versa, which opens up opportunities for U.S. shipping companies to get their cargo into Cuba and expedites cargo shipments, such as pharmaceuticals, from Cuba into the U.S.," Craig added, noting that "expanded trade helps the Cuban people and the Cuban economy."