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Biden Wants Cuba Remittances Policy ‘Tough on the Regime and Soft on the Cuban People’

The White House is seeking “innovative options” to restart remittances to Cuba, it said when sending back some recommendations that had been made by the Treasury Department and State Department, Reuters reported Friday (Nov. 5).

The President Joe Biden administration wants to allow Cuban Americans to send money to families on the island while also ensuring it does not end up in the hands of the Cuban government, according to the report.

Biden has instructed aides to develop a policy that is “tough on the regime and soft on the Cuban people,” the report stated, citing an unnamed official.

The administration imposed sanctions on Cuban officials and security forces in response to their crackdown on protestors in July, according to the report.

Sanctions on the country have come and gone in the previous years, the report noted, with the President Donald Trump administration putting in place strict limits on remittances after the previous President Barack Obama administration had made a rapprochement with Cuba.

Around 10,000 Cubans used bitcoin and altcoins, including ethereum and dogecoin, to skirt around U.S. sanctions.

Read more: Cubans Use Cryptocurrencies for Remittances in Wake of US Sanctions

Cubans overseas used BitRemesas, a crypto exchange, to essentially transfer money to Cuba through a middleman. In the previous 10 years, Cubans received nearly $30 billion in cash remittances, 90% coming from the U.S.

Cubans also have turned to digital currency to make purchases online, as well as to invest and trade, according to a 2019 report.

See more: Cubans Using Crypto to Get Around US Sanctions

With the U.S. trade embargo prohibiting Cubans from obtaining credit or debit cards for international use, many residents bought cryptocurrencies for those uses.

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