The White House has announced that it will restart the processing of visas for Cuban citizens at the U.S. embassy in Havana beginning in 2023 (via CBS News):
The Biden administration will fully resume immigrant visa processing at the American embassy in Havana in early 2023 as part of an effort to discourage illegal immigration from Cuba, which has seen record numbers of its citizens flee to the U.S.-Mexico border over the past year, officials announced Wednesday.
When the policy change takes effect, Cubans sponsored by their U.S.-based relatives will no longer need to travel to Guyana for interviews with U.S. consular officers, one of the required steps in the immigrant visa process. Instead, all Cubans applying for visas to come to the U.S. will undergo these interviews at the embassy in Havana.
The upcoming shift will fully reverse the Trump administration’s decision in 2017 to halt visa processing in Cuba and require applicants to undergo interviews at the U.S. embassy in Guyana. The Biden administration had restarted limited visa processing in Havana earlier this year.
While the CBS News report places portrays the suspension of visa processing in Cuba as some arbitrary decision by President Trump, the real reason was the mysterious “sonic attacks” American diplomats in Havana suffered. The symptoms ranged from headaches and nausea all the way to hearing loss and actual brain damage. That’s quite an important detail for them to leave out, but unfortunately, not at all unexpected.
While it’s great that Cubans seeking freedom in the U.S. will be able to apply for a visa in Cuba, the Biden administration has yet to explain how it will protect American diplomats from new “sonic attacks.” The U.S. government has yet to find either the source or the culprit behind the the mysterious attacks the media has dubbed “Havana Syndrome.” Therefore, it is difficult to assume they have found a way to prevent them or protect our folks from becoming new victims.
Regardless of how good one may think the intentions are, it is irresponsible to put American diplomats in harm’s way just to achieve a political objective.