President of the United states Barack Obama has decided to fulfill a campaign promise and allow Cuban Americans and Cuban emigres to freely visit and send money to their families.A White House official confirmed the administration’s intentions to lift the restrictions, but said the measure was not a new policy statement and was not imminent.
The administration has conveyed that our policy towards Cuba is being reviewed and the president has stated that there’s a sense that restrictions on family visits and cash remittances should be lifted and the focus remains on the need for democratic reforms and human rights in Cuba.
The removal of limits on family travel and cash remittances would allow Cubans living in the United States to travel freely to the island, instead of once a year as at present. It would also remove the ceiling of $1,200 per person in cash remittances to needy family members in Cuba.
This is a good humanitarian move that honors Cuban Americans’ right to visit and aid their relatives as they see fit but it creates one class of Americans who can travel to Cuba at will, so it will add to the momentum in Congress to lift restrictions on all other Americans, who have a right to travel too. The move was probably meant to signal a new attitude toward both Cuba and other Latin American countries that have pressed Washington to end a trade embargo that has sought to isolate Havana for more than four decades.