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The United States Department of Treasury has announced the lifting of some financial restrictions against Cuba to support private businesses on the island.

On Tuesday, measures were introduced to allow Cuban entrepreneurs to open and access US bank accounts online. Additionally, the US is expanding access to internet-based services, enabling private companies to perform certain financial transactions more freely, and will authorize “U-turn transactions,” which allows money to be transferred through the US.

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In a statement, the US Department of Treasury said, “These regulatory amendments update and clarify authorizations in support of internet-based services to promote internet freedom in Cuba, support independent Cuban private sector entrepreneurs, and expand access to certain financial services for the Cuban people.” According to the Treasury, the new rules also ensures that Cuban officials and Communist Party members do not benefit from these changes.

The announcement has been welcomed by many in Cuba as the country faces severe economic and energy crises, with worsening blackouts and food shortages leading to widespread frustration and mass migration, primarily to the US.

Digging Deeper:
This development comes as US-Cuba relations remain strained following the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro, which resulted in a Communist government and the nationalization of major companies. The US imposed a comprehensive economic embargo in 1962 under President John F. Kennedy. Relations began to improve under President Barack Obama, who lifted some restrictions in 2017. However, President Trump reversed much of this progress, reinstating Cuba’s designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism” and imposing new sanctions.


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