In addition to the opening of embassies in Washington and Havana this week, the U.S. and Cuba officially established a banking relationship with the signing of documents on July 21 between Banco Internacional de Comercio in Cuba and Stonegate Bank in Pompano Beach, Fla.

Stonegate had announced in May that it had agreed to provide banking services for the Cuban government.

“This is another step in terms of normalizing commercial relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The ability to move money easily between the two countries will only increase trade and benefit American companies  wishing to do business in Cuba. We’re proud to be part of this process that is going to benefit both countries in the future,” said David Seleski, president and CEO of Stonegate Bank.

The move now simplifies matters for tour operators with programs to Cuba, allowing them to pay for visas for their clients by check or credit card rather than in cash. 

The Cuban Interests Section in Washington (now the Cuban Embassy) had been without banking services in the U.S. since August 2013.

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