White House: Changing Cuba Policy Is Not a Priority for Biden

The Trump administration reversed Obama's steps towards normalization with Havana and Cuba remains under embargo

Changing policy towards Cuba and giving the country sanctions relief is not a foreign policy priority for President Biden, the White House said on Friday.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki made the comments when asked if the fact that Cuban leader Raul Castro announced he is stepping down would change Washington’s approach to Havana. “A Cuba policy shift or additional steps is currently not among the President’s top foreign policy priorities,” she said.

The Obama administration took steps to normalize with Cuba but never fully lifted the decades-old trade embargo, so the steps were easy to reverse. Throughout his term, President Trump has gradually re-imposed the sanctions and travel restrictions eased by Obama.

The Trump administration took action against Cuba in its final days and redesignated the Cuban government as a “state sponsor of terror” in January. To reverse this action, the Biden administration would have to certify the delisting with Congress, a process that could take months.

Considering Cuba is not a priority for Biden, Cuba will likely remain on the terror list for years to come. The only other countries listed as state sponsors of terror are North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.