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Cuban entrepreneurs granted limited banking access by US

US Eases Restrictions on Cuban Entrepreneurs’ Access to US Banking System

US Officials Announce Update to Cuba Policy, Allowing Private Sector Entrepreneurs to Establish US Bank Accounts

In a significant shift in US policy towards Cuba, private sector entrepreneurs in the country will now be able to establish US bank accounts which they can remotely access, US officials announced on Tuesday. The new rules, which modify a longstanding embargo on Cuba, aim to support the private sector and provide greater access to the US banking system.

“These amendments will facilitate greater access to internet-based services for the Cuban people,” a senior US official told reporters. The changes will also allow the independent Cuban private sector to have greater access to international transactions and US banking services, including through online payment platforms.

However, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez criticized the measures as “limited,” stating that they do not reverse the economic impact caused by the long-standing embargo imposed by Washington. Rodriguez also accused the US of trying to create divisions within Cuban society with these new rules.

Under the updated policy, independent private sector entrepreneurs will be able to set up remotely accessed US bank accounts for authorized transactions. This move is expected to facilitate the import of essential goods such as food and equipment that support the Cuban people.

The Biden administration has been vocal about supporting the growth of Cuba’s private sector, including by providing greater access to US internet services and e-commerce platforms. Since 2021, Cuban entrepreneurs have been able to establish private small- and medium-sized enterprises, with over 11,000 companies registered so far.

The Cuban economy has been facing challenges, with rising public frustration towards the government. Benjamin Gedan, director of the Latin America program at the Wilson Center, noted that greater internet access could offer new business opportunities and tools for Cubans to communicate their grievances.

The latest announcement excludes prohibited Cuban government officials, such as military officers, and comes shortly after Cuba was removed from a list of countries that do not fully cooperate on counterterrorism. This move signals a potential shift in US-Cuba relations and could have significant implications for the Cuban private sector.


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