This summer, that apparent thaw in Cuban-American relations accelerated dramatically. In June, the House Agriculture Committee voted to reverse a decades-long ban on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba and to ease restrictions on the sale of American commodities there. In July, two senators followed suit by announcing a bipartisan bill that would also facilitate travel to Cuba, which they claimed enjoyed two-thirds support in Congress. And last week, the White House reportedly stepped into the fray again, with signals that the president would issue an executive order to further open existing travel opportunities for American students, teachers and researchers, possibly before Labor Day. For its part, Cuba released 52 of its 167 political prisoners in a July deal brokered by the Catholic Church, which many see as an important precursor for normalization of relations between the two countries.