US President Joe Biden has lifted the squeeze decided by his predecessor Donald Trump against Cuba.
The US State Department has also announced a series of measures aimed at “supporting the Cuban people”: among the main ones are the reintroduction of the program for the family reunification and the strengthening of consular services, including visas. Commercial flights to Cuba will also be restored. Havana welcomed the news coldly, speaking of “a limited step in the right direction”.
Biden lifted Trump’s restrictions on Cuba
President Biden then reinstated a family reunification program that had been suspended for years. According to what was announced by the US State Department, the president’s decision makes it “easier for families to visit relatives” on the Caribbean island and “for authorized American travelers to have relations with the Cuban people, attend meetings and conduct research”. The Biden administration also lifted the $ 1,000-per-quarter ceiling on family remittances and, State Department spokesman Ned Price explained, “will support remittances of donations to Cuban entrepreneurs.” “Both measures – the spokesman explained – have the objective of further strengthening families in mutual support and allowing entrepreneurs to expand their activities”. The Biden administration has also announced that it will resume commercial flights to Cuba, which now only reach Havana. “Cuba is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and our policy will continue to focus on strengthening the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department note read.
Cuba: “A limited step in the right direction”
The reaction of Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez was not long in coming, according to which the lifting of the restrictions imposed on the island by the Trump administration is “a limited step in the right direction”. “The decision – wrote Rodríguez on Twitter – it does not modify the embargo, the fraudulent inclusion in the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, nor the majority of Trump’s coercive measures of maximum pressure that still affect the Cuban people “. The content of the announcement, Rodríguez added in another tweet, “confirms that neither the objectives nor the main instruments of the failed US policy against Cuba have changed”. In a note, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean country (Minrex) later regretted that the Biden administration did not lift the economic embargo, in force since 1962. The Minrex reiterated that Havana is open to dialogue with Washington.