Changes in Cuba policy announced

Changes in Cuba policy announced

HAVANA, May 18th  According to a source the Biden administration is announcing today Monday changes in policy towards Cuba,

including the processing of immigrant visas at the Embassy in Havana, the resumption of commercial flights to the provinces, and the end of the remittance limit.

Professional and educational trips to the island will also be authorized, as well as group trips with a general license, suspended by the Trump administration.

In addition, an expansion of the trips of Cubans to the United States with multiple entry permits will be announced.

And, finally, economic assistance to Cuban entrepreneurs through U.S. banks, as well as electronic banking and payments.

Late in the afternoon, the following official statement was released:

“Today, 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 U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.
  • Strengthen family ties and facilitate educational connections for the U.S. 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.