Reuters spoke with an unnamed, senior US official and reports:

  • Obama to announce beginning of normalization of relations
  • Will move to re-establish diplomatic relations severed since 1961
  • Secretary of State Kerry will review Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism
  • Will relax flow of commerce and transportation to Cuba
  • Cuban government agreed to release 53 people the Us deems political prisoners
  • Change in policy prompted by belief in Obama administration that previous policy hasn’t worked
  • More types of travel will be allowed by direct American tourism will still be banned
  • US banks will be allowed to open correspondent accounts at Cuban banks, trade with private sector will be easier
  • Telecommunications and internet links to Cuba will be allowed without US licences

“What we are doing is beginning the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba,” the source said.

A separate report said Obama still believes it’s unlikely Congress will vote to end the embargo.