White House eases restrictions on Cuban travel and remittances

The Biden administration says it will increase flights to Cuba, ease travel restrictions for Americans visiting the island, and abolish Trump-era limitations on remittances to Cubans.

The State Department said on Monday that the USD 1,000 per quarter cap on family remittances will be lifted, allowing non-family remittances to boost independent Cuban enterprises. According to the State Department, scheduled and charter flights to destinations other than Havana will be permitted.

The administration also plans to reintroduce the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, which currently has a backlog of over 20,000 applications, as well as expand consular services and visa processing.

"We hope that by taking these steps, we will be able to support Cubans' aspirations for freedom and greater economic prospects at home," said State Department spokesman Ned Price. "We continue to call on the Cuban regime to release political detainees immediately, to respect the fundamental freedoms of the Cuban people, and to let the Cuban people to determine their own futures."

The policy revisions are the result of a review that began shortly after a series of large-scale protests on the island in July. 

Former President Donald Trump imposed tougher sanctions on Cuba, including the suspension of remittance licences and the criminalization of oil vessels destined for the island.

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