EFE (via 14ymedio), Washington, January 18, 2024 — The United States does not plan for now to allow Cuban Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises [MSMEs] access to the US banking system, a senior State Department official said on Thursday. Eric Jacobstein, deputy undersecretary of Latin American affairs, was questioned in a congressional committee about the rumors that the U.S. Government would be considering allowing Cuban entrepreneurs to open accounts in American banks.
“At the moment I have no information about specific regulatory changes,” the official replied.
However, Jacobstein assured during his speech that the Biden Administration is committed to “supporting the Cuban people” and facilitating “the growth of the private sector” on the Island.
The deputy undersecretary stated that the “Cuban communist experiment failed,” so in 2021 the Government of Cuba had to authorize the creation of micro, small and medium-sized private companies.
The deputy undersecretary affirmed that the “Cuban communist experiment failed,” so in 2021 the Government of Cuba had to authorize the ’MSMEs’
He said that Cuban entrepreneurs “see the United States as a source of inspiration” and claimed that Washington must support them so as not to leave room for the influence of China and Russia.
In that sense, he vindicated the measures carried out by the Biden Administration, such as the lifting of the remittance limit for Cubans and the restoration of the family reunification program.
During the hearing, the Republican congresswoman of Cuban origin María Elvira Salazar warned the official that many owners of these new businesses are actually people linked to the Cuban Government, which she defined as “the Hamas of the continent.”
“Be sure to send the State Department the message that (opening the US banking system to Cuban MSMEs) would not be a good idea because it would violate the embargo,” Salazar said.
For his part, Democratic Congressman Joaquín Castro said that the “isolationism” imposed on Cuba is “impoverishing” its population and that the embargo should be lifted to allow the growth of its economy and the private sector.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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