US to Ease Cuba Sanctions

US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said Monday that the government would ease some restrictions on Cuba, including limits on travel and remittances, following a lengthy policy review. 

In a statement, Price said the government would reinstate the family reunification program known as the Cuban Family Reunification Parole, expand the authorized travel to increase support for Cuban entrepreneurs, and “ensure that remittances flow more freely to the Cuban people while not enriching those who perpetrate human rights abuses.”

According to Price, the changes in restrictions aim to “support the Cuban people, providing them additional tools to pursue a life free from Cuban government oppression and to seek greater economic opportunities.”

Price added that the US government would also increase support for independent Cuban entrepreneurs, with the aim to ease access to the internet and expand access to microfinance and training.

However, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the US announcement was “a limited step in the right direction.”

“The decision does not change the embargo, the fraudulent inclusion (of Cuba) on a list of state sponsors of terrorism nor most of the coercive maximum pressure measures by Trump that still affects the Cuban people,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also accused the US government of trying to exclude Havana from the upcoming Summit of the Americas in California.

“There is no justification for excluding Cuba or any other country from this event that we have attended the last two editions,” Rodriguez said last month.

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