Biden considers increasing embassy staff in Havana and will review sending remittances to Cuba

The United States seeks to consistently apply measures to support the Cuban people and hold the regime accountable, a senior State Department official said.

Joe Biden / Embajada de EE.UU. en Cuba © Flickr/United States Mission Geneva - Wikimedia Commons
Joe Biden / US Embassy in Cuba Photo © Flickr/United States Mission Geneva - Wikimedia Commons

This article is from 2 years ago

The American presidentJoe Biden ordered the State Department to consider increasing personnel in theUnited States Embassy in Havana and the creation of a working group to evaluate thesending remittances to Cuban familiesGovernment sources confirmed this Monday.

A senior State Department official said the administration has instructed it to consider plans to expand the staff of its diplomatic headquarters in Havana, whose operating capacity and consular services were practically frozen in October 2017, after thewithdrawal of employees due to so-called acoustic incidents.

In turn, Biden directed the formation of a working group to evaluate options for sending remittances to the island, after the cancellation of transportation services.Western Union in late 2020, the source added.

The information initially emerged through a joint report by the parent company McClatchy and its newspaper.Miami Herald, and followed a meeting in Washington of Cuban American leaders with two Biden advisers: Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Juan González, senior director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere.

”The administration will create a Remittances Working Group to find the most effective way to bring remittances directly to the Cuban people,” the official toldCyberCuba.

The State Department spokesperson also confirmed that the other immediate decision will be linked to the increase in the consular capacity of the embassy in Havana.

"We seek to review our plans to increase the staff of the embassy in Havana, and increase the presence of diplomats and consular officials under conditions of absolute security," said the source.

He added that the United States seeks to consistently apply "measures to support the Cuban people and hold the Cuban regime accountable."

The decision comes after enormous demands from political leaders and the Cuban community in the United States for the Biden administration to take action regarding Cuba, in the midst of the explosive situation inmassive protests and repressive actions that have shaken the country for eight days.

The government of Miguel Díaz-Canel continues to assert that the demonstrations in Cuba were orchestrated and paid for from the United States, accusations that the White House has dismissed and rejected.

The official toldCyberCubathat both decisions were contemplated in the exhaustive review of policy towards Cuba that Washington undertook since last January, but had to be expedited in response to the events that have occurred in recent days.

A first meeting of the working group on remittances is scheduled for this week in Washington, it was unofficially known.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week that the Biden administration was continuing to review its Cuba policy, but that the demonstrations were considered "significant events" and that "obviously, they will have an impact."in Washington's decision on "how to proceed".

"Regarding Cuba, unfortunately Cuba is a failed state and there are many things that we would consider to help Cubans, but different circumstances or guarantees would be needed to not benefit the government," Biden said last Thursday injoint press conference in Washington with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The president had said that "I would not change the remittances now because I do not have the guarantees that they would not end up in the hands of the government," but reported that his administration is "considering technological options tobring internet to all Cubans", and analyzing variants to send coronavirus vaccines to Cuba.

Acting Undersecretary of the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung,He urged this Monday that all countries take sides for the people of Cuba and against the repression ordered by the Cuban government after the July 11 demonstrations.

The Cuban community in the United States has been demonstrating since that Sunday in different cities in the country, demanding that the Biden administration take action to help the people of Cuba. This Saturday, Cubans and Cuban-Americans from several statesThey gathered in Washington, in front of the White House, to demand that their requests be heard.

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