An action announced by the Obama administration last Friday apparently has created confusion in some circles.
While the White House announced the elimination of the $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and cigars American travelers can bring back from the island, some news outlets have misreported that as meaning retail sales of those two items also were affected.
The change does not mean that Cuban rum and cigars will be available for sale in the U.S.
In actuality, Cuban rum and cigars now are subject to the same duties as alcohol and tobacco from other countries. That means most travelers will be able to bring back as many as 100 cigars and several bottles of rum. High-end Cuban cigars can sell for more than $100 apiece outside the island nation, so every U.S. traveler now may legally bring back many thousands of dollars of Cuban products.
More than 160,000 American travelers visited Cuba last year, a figure sure to increase because of the U.S. lifting most travel restrictions between the U.S. and the Communist dictatorship