Home News Biden moves to open U.S. banks to Cuban private sector

Biden moves to open U.S. banks to Cuban private sector

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The Biden administration announced new rules on Tuesday that will allow Cuban entrepreneurs to open bank accounts in the United States and conduct transactions remotely online for the first time, a major step to support Cuba’s expanding private sector.

Relax Banking Rules Biden administration officials said the program could help entrepreneurs grow, encourage more Cubans to start small businesses and is intended to help support Cubans facing hardships amid Cuba’s economic crisis.

Until now, private owners have been unable to obtain funds from American banks as part of the strict economic blockade that the United States has long imposed on Cuba and have largely had to rely on cash remittances from relatives in the United States to finance their businesses.

The U.S. Treasury Department said the new rules apply only to “independent private sector entrepreneurs” who have no ties to the Cuban Communist Party, the military, members of Cuba’s National Assembly or anyone on the U.S. sanctions list.

The Cuban government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Decades after Cuba’s revolutionary leaders nationalized the economy and outlawed private companies in the 1960s, the Cuban government made a significant reversal and approved the creation of small and medium-sized private businesses in 2021.

Since then, those businesses have grown dramatically and last year imported roughly the same amount of goods as the Cuban government, according to Cuban officials.

Cuban economists estimate that the private sector now accounts for nearly a third of total employment in Cuba, with more than 11,000 business licenses issued to private companies, each of which can employ up to 100 people.

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