Biden Government Evaluates Digital Payments to Send Remittances to Cuba

The government of Democrat Joe Biden is evaluating digital payments “as part of the innovative solutions” it is studying to facilitate the transfer of money from the United States to Cuba, a US official said on Friday.

Remittances, a breadwinner for many families and key to the Cuban economy, were restricted during the government of Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021) to prevent the Cuban communist regime from benefiting as an intermediary.

Biden, his successor, had promised to allow these transfers again, but after the unprecedented demonstrations that broke out on the island last July, he announced that he would seek ways to ensure that the money reached the hands of the Cuban people directly.

Jalina Porter, deputy spokeswoman for the State Department, noted that the remittances task force created after the protests shared its analysis with other members of the Biden administration last August.

“The administration continues to consider these options and explore innovative solutions. And that also includes digital payments as part of the solutions,” it said, without giving dates on its eventual implementation.

Porter said the goal is “to explore options to facilitate remittances to Cuba that would benefit the Cuban people and allow Cuban families to support themselves, while also minimizing or eliminating benefits to both the Cuban regime and its military.”

“Our policy towards Cuba focuses first and foremost on supporting the Cuban people,” he emphasized.

The review of US policy towards Cuba, coordinated by the National Security Council of the White House, is still ongoing.

The sending of money by the Cuban diaspora to their relatives on the island, virtually prohibited for two decades after the 1959 Cuban revolution, totaled some 3.72 billion dollars in 2019, according to the Havana Consulting Group, based in Miami.

Experts estimate that more than two-thirds of the people in Cuba depend on remittances to survive, and that more than 90% of those who send them are based in the United States. They may do so informally, carrying the money themselves or by hiring other people (“mules”), or through money transfer services.

But this has been difficult since 2019, when Trump limited travel to Cuba and prohibited the processing of remittances through entities controlled by the Havana government or the military, tightening the economic embargo that the United States has applied since 1962 to the Caribbean island. in order to force a regime change.

ad / host

Leave a Comment