July 7, 2022

Biden is changing some of Trump’s policies regarding Cuba, making it easier for families to see relatives in the country.

“We will make it easier for families in Cuba to visit their relatives, for authorized American travelers to engage with the Cuban people, to attend meetings, and to conduct research,” spokesman Net Price said in a statement.

Biden management is raising the family remittance limit by $ 1,000 per quarter, with the aim of helping Cuban entrepreneurs send donations, support families and empower entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, Price said.

During his campaign in September 2020, President Joe Biden promised that he would “try to change the failed Trump policies that are detrimental to Cubans and their families.” Since Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, his administration has been reviewing Trump’s Cuban policies. Following Trump’s repeated claims that Biden will replace the United States, Trump’s defeat of Florida in the 2020 election will have political implications for how Biden leads Cuba. If he wins a “socialist country”, this is news that will resonate with Cuban Americans.

The announced changes to Cuban policy came after a lengthy review by the president, and the scale of the largest policy actions toward the island since Biden’s inauguration. Nevertheless, they stop completely resuming the Obama-Biden administration’s approach to Cuba, leaving some restrictions and maintaining sanctions on some companies.

The U.S. will still ban U.S. tourism in Cuba and will not allow individuals to go there for educational purposes, even after easing some of the Trump-era restrictions on the island, senior executives said Monday.

But these changes will expand the number of commercial and charter flights to Cuba, including cities beyond Havana, and will allow more Americans to communicate with the Cuban people through a recognized group of “people-people” visits.

Doing so will “allow for greater engagement among the American people.

The United States still plans to process immigrant visas at its embassy in Guyana as it works to restructure its facilities in Havana, following unexplained health incidents among diplomats and staff. Biden instructed his team to increase the staff at the embassy to make it easier for them to apply for an immigrant visa.

The announcement comes as Biden faces a decision on whether to invite Cuban leaders to his US summit in Los Angeles in early June. Officials stressed that the changes announced on Monday were completely unrelated to the summit and that some leaders in the region were debating the possibility of avoiding it.

“We need to focus on tackling shared challenges in the region and not explode the summit on who appears and who does not,” an official said.

Instead, they said the restrictions were lifted after months of consultation and scrutiny ordered by Biden following last year’s protests in Cuba.

An official described the changes as “practical steps we are taking to address the humanitarian situation and respond to the needs of the Cuban people.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting.