US lifts Cuba handset ban

22 May 2008

The BBC reports that US President George Bush has said Americans will soon be allowed to send mobile phones to relatives in Cuba. The change in US policy follows the Cuban government’s easing last month of restrictions on mobile phone ownership. Previously they could only be bought by government officials and people working for foreign firms, but since April have been available to anyone that can afford one. Although the US’s trade embargo against Cuba remains in place, Americans will now be able to include mobile handsets in gift parcels to Cuba. Speaking on ‘Cuba Solidarity Day’, Mr Bush said, ‘Cubans are now allowed to purchase mobile phones, DVD players and computers, and they have been told that they will be able to purchase toasters and other basic appliances in 2010…if Raul [Castro] is serious about his so-called reforms, he will allow these phones to reach the Cuban people.’

Cuba, United States