The United States has announced that it is easing restrictions imposed during Donald Trump’s administration on travel to Cuba in an effort to help the communist country deal with the humanitarian crisis.

“The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department said.

This relaxation of restrictions for Cubans will include more visa processing, including at the Havana consulate, although most visas will still be handled at the US embassy in Guyana, VisaGuide.World reports.

In addition, the US plans to further facilitate the educational connection between the two countries and to support professional research, including support for internet access and remittance companies.

To further boost the remittances, the US will abolish the current limit of $1,000 per quarter for each sender while also enabling non-family remittances in order to support Cuban entrepreneurs.

Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba’s Foreign Minister, called the move ‘a small step in the right direction’ but pointed out it doesn’t justify the embargo put on since 1960.

“The US government’s announcement is a limited step in the right direction. This decision in no way modifies the blockade, # Cuba’s fraudulent inclusion in the list of countries sponsors of terrorism, or most of Trump’s maximum pressure coercive measures that still affect the Cuban people,” Minister Rodriguez wrote in a statement.

However, the US Senator, Bob Menendez, serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned the move, saying that the Cuban regime continues its perception of countless Cubans.

He also noted that lifting restrictions could send the wrong message to Cubans, although the latter is dealing with a mysterious illness suffered by US personnel and family members in Cuba, known as “Havana Syndrome”.

“Those who still believe that increasing travel will breed democracy in Cuba are simply in a state of denial. For decades, the world has been traveling to Cuba, and nothing has changed,” Menendez noted.

The symptoms, which as reported mainly experienced by US government officials and military personnel since 2016, include bizarre sounds and sensations followed by hearing and vision loss, headaches, and nausea, in addition to memory and balance problems.

On the other hand, the American representatives stated that they have yet to determine exactly what happened in the incidents, but an official said to the reporters that there is an ‘appropriate security posture’ in Cuba.

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