The U.S. government announced that it will expand flights to Cuba, take steps to loosen restrictions on U.S. travelers to the island, and lift restrictions on remittances that immigrants can send to people on the island.
The Joe Biden administration said it will also move to reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, which has a backlog of more than 20,000 applications, and increase consular services and visa processing.
The Donald Trump measures and the pandemic contributed to an economic crisis in Cuba, where people suffer from shortages of basic products, power outages and rationing.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said on his Twitter account called the Biden administration move “a limited step in the right direction”. He added that the decision doesn’t change the embargo nor most of Trump measures against the island.
White House officials said the U.S. would also increase its diplomatic presence, which was dramatically scaled back in 2017 in response to a spate of unexplained brain injuries suffered by American diplomats, spies and other government employees posted to the island.
US specialists estimate that Biden’s new measures with respect to Cuba could facilitate to some extent the arrival of US tourists to the island.