“Reaching out to the Cuban people”

From the New York times, here is the fact sheet detailing the new policies set forth by the White House in regards to Cuba. They are calling it “Reaching out to the Cuban people.” The first part of the fact sheet deals with the lifting of all restrictions against Cuban Americans traveling to Cuba and the elimination of limits to the remittances. That was expected. What was not expected was the provision to allow US telecommunications companies to do business in Cuba, which includes not only landlines, but also cellular phones, satellite radio, and satellite television. In addition, it will also allow the export of telecommunication devices as well as computers and software.

Authorize Greater Telecommunications Links with Cuba

We will authorize greater telecommunications links with Cuba to advance people-to-people interaction at no cost to the U.S. government. This will increase the means through which Cubans on the island can communicate with each other and with persons outside of Cuba.

· Authorize U.S. telecommunications network providers to enter into agreements to establish fiber-optic cable and satellite telecommunications facilities linking the United States and Cuba.

· License U.S. telecommunications service providers to enter into and operate under roaming service agreements with Cuba’s telecommunications service providers.

· License U.S. satellite radio and satellite television service providers to engage in transactions necessary to provide services to customers in Cuba.

· License persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to activate and pay U.S. and third-country service providers for telecommunications, satellite radio and satellite television services provided to individuals in Cuba, except certain senior Communist Party and Cuban government officials.

· Authorize, consistent with national security concerns, the export or re-export to Cuba of donated personal communications devices such as mobile phone systems, computers and software, and satellite receivers through a license exception.

What I find most interesting about all of this is the apparent assumption that the Cuban regime is going to suddenly allow everyone to have Sirius/XM radio and a subscription to DirecTV.

h/t The Real Cuba

14 thoughts on ““Reaching out to the Cuban people””

  1. What does it mean except certain Senior Communist party and Cuban government officials? Does it mean they won’t have to pay or that they can’t get the licenses?
    Where are Cubans going to get the money to pay for their phones? But if a tourist brings a phone to a Cuban and pays for it, can the Cuban get it or will the government confiscate it? I agree with the post. I’ll bet it’s only window dressing. How will we be able to know?

  2. As I understand it, based on what is being reported on Miami TV, you can send a cellular phone to a relative or a friend in Cuba and pay for the roaming charges here.

  3. Frankly, I am wondering where he gets the authority to allow the communications company to do business with Cuba. It is barred by the embargo and such is not part of the recently passed legislation. Thus, absent a change to the current Trading with the Enemy Law, which requires an act of congress and congressional signature, the President cannot rule on Cuba trade policy by decree. Who is he, Hugo Chavez?

  4. I’m still trying to find the point in allowing the export of DirecTV boxes to Cuba since watching anything but state television is illegal, let alone owning a satellite dish. The optimist in me sees this as just another stupid idea from an administration that seems to have a bottomless bag of stupid ideas to draw from, but the cynic in me sees something else; perhaps the proverbial camel sticking its nose in the tent.

  5. Mike, he I think he didn’t knowing what you just stated. That would bring the embargo back to the forefront in Congress, because I’m sure someone will file something in some court within the next 48 hours.

    Don’t think that all this talk of Cuban-Ameircans wanting or not, the embargo to be lifted was for nothing.

    Didn’t you read the part about being able to send remittances through US banks? Isn’t that in violation of the embargo as well? No my friend, I fear that the “lifting” of things has just begun.

  6. Lori:

    It is not illegal to send funds to Cuba through US banks. That’s how some remittances are sent now as well as how the regime pays for the items it purchases from the US. The banks are required, however, to have a special license from OFAC to be able to do it and of course, those transactions are thoroughly checked and audited. Well at least they used to be–now that will all probably change.

  7. Technically, a bank being a conduit to send money is not the same as setting up a cell phone system down there with towers and hardware and then doing business down there. Hence where does he get the authority?

  8. Jorge Mas Santos must be drooling into getting MASTEC to do business in Havana.

    I’m sure that he made a pact with Obama on this issue.

    Hi father must be turning in his grave, what a disgrace!

  9. Mike, he gets his authority because he is The One. Don’t be surprised if he just may fly down to Key West and part the Florida straights so everyone can travel to Cuba.

    “Let my people go… to Cuba!”

  10. Freedom:

    In the end, it’s all about the Benjamins. Mas Santos doesn’t care, neither does Saladrigas or the rest of those characters. They’re in it for the money. It is the same thing that brought upon Cuba a communist dictatorship and has kept it there for half a century.

  11. That means that American companies will have to deal with Cuba’s Communications Minister and murderer, Ramiro Valdes.

    I don’t know how many of you remember the crackdown on all illegal dish antennas (they are all illegal since the Cuban government forbids Cubans to own one) that took place in Cuba a couple of years ago. When fifo became ill, raulita pulled Ramiro Valdes off the shelf, dusted him off, and set him up as Communications Minister. Valdes is a real evil character responsible (personally) for the death of over 3,000 men, women and children.

    As to all these companies doing business with Cuba hoping to make $$$$, I wish them luck. Cubans make roughly $18.00 pesos a month; I don’t think that telephone or cable TV is a priority at the moment; unless of course, they belong to the government elite. If they are hoping for family abroad to pay the bills then I wish them a lot of luck.

    Of course, all these plans are predicated on raulita becoming a “Born Again Christian.”

  12. Alberto,

    I fully understand your point; my point is that Jorge Mas Canosa would have never, ever done that.

    The son is disgracing his father memory with his actions.

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