WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 (AFP) - US President Barack Obama plans to ease economic sanctions on Cuba, allowing Cuban-Americans to visit families as often as they like and send them unlimited financial aid, The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.
Citing an unnamed senior administration official, the newspaper said the new rules, which the president can introduce without seeking congressional approval, will affect an estimated 1.5 million Americans who have family members in Cuba.
The report came as eight US lawmakers -- all Democrats from the US Congressional Black Caucus -- arrived in Havana to discuss relations.
The group is led by caucus chairwoman Barbara Lee and also includes Mel Watt, Emanuel Cleaver, Marcia Fudge, Mike Honda, Bobby Rush and Laura Richardson.
The eighth legislator, Sheila Jackson-Lee, was due to arrive Monday.
The Journal said Obama doesn't intend to call for lifting of the trade embargo against Cuba, which would require congressional action.
The timing of the announcement is unclear, but several Cuba experts have said it could come ahead of this month's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.