December 25, 2014
A shift in the USA's policy concerning Cuba had some domain name speculators rushing for the register button.
Last Wednesday, US President Barack Obama signaled a change in direction for US relations with Cuba, which have pretty much been in deep-freeze for more than 50 years.
"Today America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past, so as to reach for a better future, for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world," said the President.
Among the important changes, the United States will open an embassy in Havana, more Americans will be allowed to travel to the island nation and trade shackles will be somewhat loosened.
Some "domainers" - those engaged in domain name speculation - jumped on the news.
Domain Name Wire's Andrew Allemann reported more than 1,500 domains containing the word "cuba" were registered last Wednesday under .COM and .NET extensions.
"Compare that to fewer than 100 that are registered on a typical day," said Mr. Allemann, who also stated it was a banner day for domains including "Havana" - 300 were registered.
Apparently a domain investor who has a portfolio of 2,500 Cuba-related domain names dating back to 1998 was elated by the news of improving relations. No doubt lovers of Cuban cigars will also be relishing the development. Cuban cigars are illegal in the United States, but under the changes licensed travelers will be able to bring back up to $100 in tobacco and alcohol for personal use.
The United States embargo against Cuba began on 19 October 1960 when the US banned almost all exports to Cuba. In January, 1961, the Eisenhower administration severed all diplomatic relations with the nation. On 7 February 1962 President John F. Kennedy extended the embargo to include almost all imports as well. The Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962 further widened the void between the two nations.
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