The White House has announced a significant reversal of Trump-era restrictions on the island nation of Cuba.
A State Department official lauded the developments as necessary “to further support the Cuban people, providing them additional tools to pursue a life free from Cuban government oppression and to seek greater economic opportunities.”
The changes include the easing of visa processing, family remittances and travel restrictions to the communist country.
As Voice of America reports:
“The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department said.
The loosening of the embargo on Cuba will see increased visa processing, including at the Havana consulate, but with most visas still handled at the U.S. embassy in Guyana.
The statement said it will “facilitate educational connections” between the two countries, as well as support for professional research including “support for expanded internet access and remittance process companies.”
Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, tweeted that the move was “a small step in the right direction” but emphasized that it does “not modify the embargo” in place since 1962.
In a follow-up tweet, Rodriguez added, “Neither the objectives nor the main instruments of the United States’ policy against Cuba, which is a failure, are changing.”