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Cuban Rum Is Now Slightly More Within Americans' Reach

As the U.S. resumes diplomatic relations with Cuba, travelers can bring back $100 worth of booze.

Chris Brown/Flickr

Today, the Obama administration announced a historic new agreement with the Cuban government, easing travel and banking restrictions that had been in place since 1961. And in good news for booze fans, this means more Cuban rum might be hitting American shores — sort of. The Wall Street Journal reports the new diplomatic regulation will allow American travelers to bring up to $400 worth of Cuban goods back to the U.S., including cigars and rum, although only $100 of the allotment can be used on booze or tobacco.

Cuba's famous Havana Club-brand rum has already had a fraught history in the United States, with mega-distillery Bacardi fighting for the right to sell its own version of the Havana Club recipe in the U.S. (According to Bacardi, its own assets in Cuba were confiscated by the government in the 1960s.)  But don't expect to see Cuban bottles hitting the back bar at your favorite watering hole. Not just anyone can take a trip to Cuba: Tourism is still restricted to those with family members living in Cuba or those with work-related projects in the country. And as the Washington Post points out, cigars and alcohol privately brought back to the United States will not legally be available for resale.