The Biden administration is expanding flights to Cuba, expanding consular services there, and relaunching family reunification programs to bring the US relationship with the island nation closer to what it was under Obama.
In a series of announcements Monday evening, the United States said it plans to end the $1,000-per-quarter cap on remittances to Cubans, while trying to ensure that such payments do not reach “human rights abusers.” White House.
The new policies will reverse Trump-era restrictions on family remittance and travel to the island, but will not remove any organizations from the Cuban Restricted List, which prevents certain state actors from receiving American funds. The administration plans to work with electronic payment companies to circumvent sanctioned Cuban financial institutions.
Former President Barack Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015 and even. Cuba’s delisting was approved by Mr. Biden while he was vice president.
But in the final days of the Trump administration, the oldHe declared Cuba a “state sponsor of terrorism” and imposed new sanctions on the country.
The Cuban government described the new measures on Monday night as “positive but of very limited scope”.
“These announcements in no way alter the blockade or major economic containment measures adopted by Trump, such as lists of Cuban assets subject to additional enforcement measures, and do not remove travel restrictions for US citizens,” the Cuban government said.
Following a background call from the National Security Council to Cuba, a senior Biden administration official detailed the measures to be taken and said that forward-looking actions are expected to combat the massive protests that took place in Cuba last year.
The policies will support Cuban society, he said. The first is to promote accountability for human rights violations, where the administration has announced a variety of sanctions targeting individuals and institutions directly involved in human rights violations. The second policy will prioritize and facilitate the export of privately sourced or donated products to the Cuban people, with a particular focus on agro-medical exports.
Senator Robert Menedez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the most senior Cuban-American member of Congress, issued a lengthy statement Monday night, describing the new Cuban policy as “the wrong message to the wrong people, to the wrong people.” wrong time and for all the wrong reasons.”
Senator Marco Rubio, also Cuban-American and the top Republican on the foreign affairs panel and another outspoken critic of the Cuban government, said: He announced the decision on Twitter.: “The #Cuban regime has threatened Biden with mass immigration and has sympathizers in the administration and the result is today we see the first steps of a return to failed Obama policies in Cuba.”
The United States will host the ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles early next month, and some Latin American leaders have said they will not attend unless Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are invited. On Monday, management officials told reporters that no official invitations for the meetings had yet been sent.