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American congressmen condemn restrictions on remittances to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 20 (ACN) Congressmen James P. McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Eliot L. Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, condemned the recently announced step by the US Treasury Department that will result in an effective halt to remittances to Cuba.

In a joint statement, both Democratic congressmen described such a decision as inhumane, and called on the Administration to reverse these actions that really harm the Cuban people.

They added the US Treasury Department's decision to ban US remittance senders from using the most widely used financial intermediary in Cuba 'will disrupt remittance flows to families and further restrict support for the emerging private sector on the island.'

'Rather than supporting the Cuban people and ensuring Cuban-Americans have the right to support loved ones on the island, this inhumane policy will deprive ordinary Cubans of basic resources', according to the statement.

The statement specifically denounced the Treasury Department´s decision to eliminate general licenses related to remittances to Cuba, which prevents transactions with the so-called Cuba Restricted List, a controversial list that includes over 200 Cuban entities and sub-entities.

Thus, from the end of this month, neither Fincimex company, counterpart in Cuba of the Western Union money transfer company; cannot be used to send money to the Caribbean island; nor the American International Services (AIS) firm, also related to remittances from abroad.

McGovern and Engel argued that about 700,000 Cubans in the U.S. send remittances to Cuba each year, shutting off Cubans' access to this crucial lifeline amid a global pandemic and economic crisis 'is cruel, heartless, and frankly ineffective.'

While the Trump administration argues that it supports the Cuban people, its policies are having the opposite effect, the congressmen added.

'We call on the Administration to reverse course, and to expand, rather than further contract, the channels of contact and support between the Cuban people and their families and loved ones in the United States.'


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