Biden’s State Department announces tougher Cuba policies

Julie Chung and Rosa Maria Payá

From our Bureau of Loud Barking and Wishful Thinking

Biden & Company tweeted a list of new Cuba policies. Whether any of these will actually go into effect remains to be seen. But if they do, they will be new positive steps that are bound to bring howls of protest from the usual suspects and from many of the real leaders of the President’s own party.

The tweet was from Julie Chung, the Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, who met with Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Payá yesterday.

Over Twitter at 10:04am on July 21, 2021 Ambassador Julie Chung, the Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs tweeted the following in a thread.

At President Biden’s direction, the United States is actively pursuing measures that will both support the Cuban people and hold the Cuban regime accountable: We can’t let remittances to Cubans fall into the hands of the oppressors. We’re setting up a Remittance Working Group to figure out how to get that directly into the pockets of the Cuban people.  

* A strong and adequately staffed embassy is vital to our efforts to support the Cuban people. We’re looking at ways to safely augment staffing to facilitate diplomatic, consular, and civil society engagement.

* We call on Cuba’s leaders to reinstate – & maintain – access to internet & telecom services. We are working with the private sector & Congress to identify ways to make the internet more accessible to the Cuban people.

* In 2020 alone, U.S. companies exported $176 million of goods to Cuba, including food & medicine. We will expedite any request to export humanitarian or medical supplies to Cuba’s people.

* We encourage our international partners to increase humanitarian assistance to Cubans.

* We are going to focus on applying hard-hitting sanctions on regime officials responsible for the brutal crackdown.  

* Cuban officials responsible for violence, repression, & human rights violations against peaceful protestors in Cuba must be held accountable.

* The United States will intensify diplomatic engagement with regional and international partners to support the aspirations of the Cuban people.

3 thoughts on “Biden’s State Department announces tougher Cuba policies”

  1. Sounds good but vague and tentative, and little if anything of substance may come of it. I may be cynical, but this sounds like PR talk. In other words, the proof is in the pudding, or I’ll believe it when I see it.

  2. That State Department statement is complete and utter bullshit.

    A. Don’t be fooled, the reason that Biden at the behest of his advisors wants to increase staffing at the US embassy in Cuba is not to help the Cuban people, but likely in order help with the processing of visas to the US. The idea is to create a escape valve.

    B. Of course they encourage humanitarian aid to Cuba. No doubt countries like Spain will start giving Cuba millions of dollars in hard currency for alleged humanitarian aid that the regime will spend to their benefit like they’ve done in the past.

    C. You can call on Cuban “leaders” to reinstate the Internet until you are blue in the face, it ain’t happening especially seen they see your extemely tepid response! You have the resources and wherewithal to set up Internet now this very moment. It doesn’t have to be studied.

    D. Just how do you pretend to impose hard hitting sanctions on the officials responsible for the crackdown? How is Diaz-Canal and his puppeteer going to be sanctioned and will they give a rat’s ass?

    E. The US is going to intensify diplomatic engagement with regional and international partners to support the aspirations of the Cuban people? How Why haven’t you intensified diplomatic engagement with them ath is creditical moment in order to condemn Cuba?

    This is all utter bullshit.

    • I’m afraid Chung’s statements sound weaker and flimsier every time one reads them. Again, it’s not what anybody says, but what they wind up doing–el movimiento se demuestra andando.

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