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FACTBOX - Obama easing some Cuba restrictions

WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday eased restrictions on Cuba by allowing family travel and cash gifts from the United States, and U.S. telecommunications firms to bid for licenses on the island. Following are some facts about U.S.-Cuban relations.

* Obama’s decision opens a crack in the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba but it does not lift the embargo maintained by U.S. presidents for more than four decades. Obama during last year’s presidential campaign said he would not eliminate the trade embargo until Cuba showed progress toward democracy.

* The easing of U.S. sanctions will allow Cuban Americans to travel more freely to Cuba and affect an estimated 1.5 million Americans with family members on the island.

* Current limits allow Cubans living in the United States to travel to Cuba only once a year and send only $1,200 per person in cash to family members.

* The move follows a long history of U.S. sanctions against Cuba after Fidel Castro took power on Jan. 1, 1959.

* On June 29, 1960, the United States suspended Cuban sugar import quota after Castro nationalized Texaco refinery that refused to process oil from the Soviet Union.

*On Oct. 19, 1960, the Eisenhower administration imposed economic embargo on Cuba, except food and medicine.

*On Jan. 3, 1961, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Havana.

*On Feb. 7, 1962, the Kennedy administration imposed full trade embargo on Cuba, banning all Cuban imports and re-exports of U.S. products to Cuba from other countries.

*On Feb. 8, 1963, the United States prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens. All Cuban-owned assets in the United States were frozen that July.

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