Americas

US expanding flights to Cuba, resuming family reunifications

Washington will ensure that remittances flow more freely to Cuban people, says State Department

Servet Günerigök   | 17.05.2022
US expanding flights to Cuba, resuming family reunifications FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON 

In a move to reverse Trump-era restrictions, the Biden administration on Monday announced a series of measures to loosen some policies on Cuba. 

In a statement, the State Department said the US will facilitate family reunifications by reinstating the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program and authorize charter flights to locations beyond Havana.

Washington will also ensure that remittances flow more freely to the Cuban people, said the statement, adding the current limit on family remittances of $1,000 per quarter per sender-receiver pair will be removed.

"We will engage with electronic payment processors to encourage increased Cuban market accessibility. We will not remove entities from the Cuba Restricted List," said the statement.

The US aims to 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.

"The 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," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Visa processing in Havana will be increased while the majority of immigrant visa cases will be processed at the US Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.

Washington also plans to provide more access to US internet services, applications and e-commerce platforms as well as supporting new spots for electronic payments, according to the State Department.

"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," Blinken said.

"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.”

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