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US’ moves to ease travel insufficient: Cuba

Last Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 11:19

New York: The Cuban government considers US President Barack Obama`s decision to end restrictions on Cuban-Americans` travel and remittances to the island to be "insufficient", Havana`s diplomatic representatives said.
"The media and diplomatic offensive implemented by the US government could induce some, mistakenly, to believe that the dismantling of the embargo has begun," Cuba`s delegation to the UN said in a statement.

The measures adopted by Washington "repair, in part, a serious injustice, ... (but) they are insufficient and of very limited scope" because they return "to the situation existing in ... family relations in the year 2004, when the embargo against Cuba was in full force", the Cuban mission said.

The US restrictions were ended on September 3, when the Treasury Department issued new regulations stipulating that US citizens with "close family" on the island, such as aunts and uncles, and first and second cousins, can visit Cuba as many times as they like and remain for any amount of time with no US restriction.

About 1.5 million Americans have family on the communist-ruled island.

US residents also may send remittances to Cuba with no restrictions on quantity or frequency, although these funds may not be send to members of government or the Communist Party.

In its communiqué, the Cuban mission to the UN recalled that the measures do not include the elimination of the prohibition on US citizens without family members in Cuba from travelling to the island.

In addition, it said that the possibility broached by Washington for US telecommunication firms to receive licenses to expand their operations involving the island is not new, since - it said - the suggestion conforms to the legal framework that in 1992 authorised this type of service.


First Published: Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 11:19
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