(MENAFN- Caribbean News Global)
USA / CUBA – The Biden administration's policy towards Cuba continues to focus first and foremost on support for the Cuban people, including their human rights and their political and economic well-being, US Department of State, advised.
“The administration announced measures to further support the Cuban people, providing them additional tools to pursue a life free from Cuban government oppression and to seek greater economic opportunities,” Ned Price, Department Spokesperson, noted, in a press release Monday.
“We will reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program and further increase consular services and visa processing, making it possible for more Cubans to join their families in the United States via regular migration channels. We will make it easier for families to visit their relatives in Cuba and for authorized US travelers to engage with the Cuban people, attend meetings, and conduct research.
We will encourage the growth of Cuba's private sector by supporting greater access to US Internet services, applications, and e-commerce platforms. We will support new avenues for electronic payments and for US business activities with independent Cuban entrepreneurs, including through increased access to microfinance and training.
“We also will support Cuban families and entrepreneurs by enabling increased remittance flows to the Cuban people in ways that do not enrich human rights abusers. We will lift the family remittance cap of $1,000 per quarter and will support donative remittances to Cuban entrepreneurs, both with the goal of further empowering families to support each other and for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.”
The US Department of State release added:“With these actions, we aim to support Cubans' aspirations for freedom and for greater economic opportunities so that they can lead successful lives at home. We continue to call on the Cuban government to immediately release political prisoners, to respect the Cuban people's fundamental freedoms and to allow the Cuban people to determine their own futures.”
Biden administration measures to support the Cuban people
The United States is taking a series of measures to increase support for the Cuban people in line with our national security interests. The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering.
Specifically, the administration will:
- Facilitate family reunification by reinstating the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program and continuing to increase capacity for consular services. Limited immigrant visa processing resumed in Havana on May 3, 2022. We will reinstate the CFRP and increase visa processing in Havana while continuing to process the majority of immigrant visa cases at the US Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.
- Strengthen family ties and facilitate educational connections for the US and Cuban people by expanding authorized travel in support of the Cuban people. We will authorize scheduled and charter flights to locations beyond Havana. We also will implement regulatory changes to reinstate group people-to-people and other categories of group educational travel, as well as certain travel related to professional meetings and professional research, including to support expanded Internet access and remittance processing companies and to provide additional support to Cuban entrepreneurs. We are not reinstating individual people-to-people travel.
- Increase support for independent Cuban entrepreneurs. We will encourage commercial opportunities outside of the state sector by authorizing access to expanded cloud technology, application programming interfaces, and e-commerce platforms. We will explore options to expand support of additional payment options for Internet-based activities, electronic payments, and business with independent Cuban entrepreneurs. We will work to expand entrepreneurs' access to microfinance and training.
- Ensure that remittances flow more freely to the Cuban people while not enriching those who perpetrate human rights abuses. Specifically, we will remove the current limit on family remittances of $1,000 per quarter per sender-receiver pair and will authorize donative (i.e., non-family) remittances, which will support independent Cuban entrepreneurs. We will engage with electronic payment processors to encourage increased Cuban market accessibility. We will not remove entities from the Cuba Restricted List.
“The administration is working expeditiously to effectuate these changes, which will be implemented via steps taken and regulatory changes made by relevant Departments and Agencies in short order,” the office of the spokesperson, said.
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