The White House lengthens the process to decide whether to resume remittances to Cuba

The White House lengthens the process to decide whether to resume remittances to Cuba

(EFE) .- The process to decide whether to reauthorize the sending of remittances to Cuba from the United States, banned for almost a year, has been lengthened after the White House rejected some recommendations on the subject, reported this Friday an official source.

The president of United States, Joe biden, in July ordered his government to identify possible ways to resume sending remittance payments to the island, a crucial source of income for Cubans that the Donald Trump Executive (2017-2021) cut off at the end of November 2020.

To comply with Biden’s guidelines, the State and Treasury Departments created a task force on remittances that has already submitted its recommendations to the White House, revealed a senior US official on Friday, who requested anonymity.

Nonetheless, the White House has “returned some” of those recommendations to the task force; he wants to “make sure” that the sending of remittances “will not result in benefits” for the Cuban military, added the official in a telephone press conference with a small group of media, including Efe.

Achieving that goal is complicated, according to experts, given the Cuban Armed Forces’ extensive control of the country’s economy, and that is why the Biden government’s evaluation process “is taking time,” in the words of the aforementioned official.

The official stressed that Biden wants to find a “third way” in relation to Cuba, between the opening of the Obama administration and the heavy hand imposed by Trump.

“We are exploring new and innovative options to try to avoid the regime and make sure that the benefits go directly to the Cuban people,” stressed the source, who did not offer an approximate deadline to complete the process.

The official stressed that Biden wants to find a “third way” in relation to Cuba, between the opening of the Government of Barack Obama (2009-2017) and the heavy hand imposed by Trump. This after seeing the Cuban response to the anti-government protests of the past July 11 on the island.

After Trump prohibited sending remittances to Cuba through companies such as Western Union, which concentrated the vast majority of shipments from the United States to the island, the only way that remains to get that money is the informal one, through travelers who carry foreign currency. cash, a method complicated by the pandemic.

In addition to the issue of remittances, Biden in July ordered his team to analyze the possible transfer of more personnel to the US embassy in Havana, drastically reduced after, in 2017, several US diplomats suffered some mysterious “health incidents “that have been repeated in other countries.

The president also asked to clarify if the United States can help improve the stability of internet in Cuba, which was restricted after the July protests, and that issue is still pending as well.

“The president has asked us to see what we can do to (…) facilitate the connection between Cubans, and it is an issue that we are studying very thoroughly,” said the aforementioned official.

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