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The Biden Government relaxes the rules for sending remittances and traveling to Cuba, reversing a Trump policy

2022-05-17T00:38:34.167Z

The State Department announced that it will eliminate restrictions on the sending of remittances, allow flights to places other than Havana and will reestablish the Cuban Family Reunification program, among other measures.



The government headed by Joe Biden announced on Monday that it will reduce the restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba imposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

The State Department said in a statement that it will eliminate the restriction on sending remittances of $1,000 per family per quarter and

will allow non-family remittances,

which will benefit small Cuban entrepreneurs.

Tourists on the beach of the Iberostar Selection Varadero hotel in Varadero, Cuba, on September 29, 2021.Ramon Espinosa / AP

In addition, regular and charter flights will be allowed from the United States to other places on the island, in addition to Havana.

The Cuban Family Reunification program will also be restored and consular services and visa processing will be increased.

"With these actions, we aim to support the aspirations of freedom and greater economic opportunities of Cubans so that they can lead a successful life at home," the State Department added.

“We continue to call on the Cuban government to immediately release political prisoners, to respect the fundamental freedoms of the Cuban people, and to allow the Cuban people to determine their own future,” he added.

The policy changes follow calls in Cuba for political and economic change during widespread protests on the island in July last year.

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Former President Donald Trump had increased sanctions against Cuba, including the cancellation of permits to send remittances and sanctions for oil tankers that supply the island.

These measures and the coronavirus pandemic have contributed to an economic crisis in Cuba, where people are experiencing shortages of basic goods, power cuts and rationing.

The economic situation brought thousands of people to the streets on July 11, 2021, the largest protests in decades on the island.

Many people were frustrated with shortages and low wages, as well as with the communist government.

According to non-governmental organizations, there were more than 1,400 arrests and 500 people sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for vandalism or sedition.

[At least 11 migrants who were shipwrecked on the coast of Puerto Rico die]

The relaxation of the measures towards the island also occurs at a time when a historic number of Cuban migrants have arrived in the United States.

Cuban and American officials have discussed the immigration issue in recent days, The Associated Press news agency reported.

In the first week of April, the US embassy in Cuba resumed visa processing for Cubans, albeit on a limited basis, more than four years after Trump froze consular services on the island.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-05-17

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