The White House said Tuesday that the Biden administration is forming a working group to review remittances to Cuba, which have been cut off due to sanctions reimposed by the Trump administration.
“We will form a remittance working group to identify the most effective way to get remittances directly into the hands of the Cuban people,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Last November, Western Union shut down its money-sending service to Cuba due to US sanctions, making it much more difficult for Cuban Americans to send money to their families.
In the wake of anti-government protests in Cuba, Biden said he “supports” the people of Cuba, but he has not taken any steps to ease the decades-old trade embargo on the country. Last week, Biden said he wouldn’t ease the restrictions on remittances over claims that the Cuban government would take “big chunks” of the money.
It’s not clear how much of a fee the Cuban government would charge for remittances. But whatever it is was worth it to the 700,000 Cuban Americans who sent remittances to Cuba each year before the restrictions came into effect.
Psaki said the Biden administration was exploring other options to “support the Cuban people and hold the Cuban regime accountable.” One option being considered is providing Cubans with internet access, something Biden mentioned last week.