Report: White House Picks Strange Time to Lift Cuban Sanctions

Report: White House Picks Strange Time to Lift Cuban Sanctions The White House The White House. (Richie Lomba/

By Nicole Wells | Friday, 20 May 2022 11:25 AM

The White House's timing for lifting some sanctions on Cuba is strange, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Russia's closest ally in the West, the communist dictatorship is showing signs of stress.

According to the Journal, Cuba's economy has collapsed and last year's July 11 uprising, when tens of thousands took to the streets to protest the government, revealed the longing Cubans have for freedom.

Hero worship of Fidel Castro is virtually nonexistent.

Approximately 750 peaceful protestors are still in jail, of the thousands detained last summer by Cuban paramilitary and secret police, the Journal reports, and Havana declared a new law this week that turns basic liberties into crimes.

Cubans who insult government officials could be punished with up to five years in prison, and those who engage with an international aid group not approved by the state could also be sentenced to years behind bars.

Forbes reports that the Biden administration announced on Monday it would be rolling back Trump-era restrictions on the communist dictatorship to help ease "an unprecedented humanitarian crisis."

The State Department said that it will add flights from the United States to Cuba, let U.S. residents send more money to Cubans and restore a program designed to help Cuban relatives of U.S. citizens obtain a visa faster.

According to the Journal, the practical effect of the administration's policy changes will be to infuse the regime with currency to maintain control over the island nation.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the changes won't help the Cuban people, who are "struggling for freedom."

"I think we've seen this song before," DeSantis said Monday. "That is going to increase the amount of money that's going to the dictatorship."

The Biden White House, like the Obama White House, does not recognize that the country's deprivation is caused by the communist regime, according to the Journal.

U.S. financing for "independent" Cuban entrepreneurs is a stated goal of the administration, however, in a system where the government controls everything, nothing is "independent."

According to the Journal, the administration issued a license on May 10 from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, authorizing a U.S. company to provide financing and invest in a Cuban company.

Because the license likely violates the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996, which bans the extension of credit to Cuba, Congress could potentially probe what's behind the White House's desire to rescue the country, the Journal reports.

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