President Barack Obama has worked to adapt our nation’s policies to help the Cuban people achieve a greater degree of political freedom and economic independence from the Cuban government.
Since taking office five years ago, President Barack Obama has worked to adapt our nation’s policies to help the Cuban people achieve a greater degree of political freedom and economic independence from the Cuban government.
We have facilitated people-to-people exchanges for U.S. citizens interested in visiting the island, easing some restrictions on travel. Opportunities for U.S. college students wishing to study in Cuba have been expanded. Cuban Americans are authorized to send unlimited remittances to close relatives in Cuba; funds that can provide those on the island with resources and opportunities for self-employment and fuel economic reforms.
To promote greater links for dialogue between our two peoples and expand the free flow of information to and from the island, U.S. telecommunications companies are now authorized to enter into agreements to establish fiber-optic cable and satellite telecommunications facilities linking the United States and Cuba. Talks are also under way to resume direct transportation of mail between our two countries.
At a November 8 event in Florida where Cuban pro-democracy and human rights activists were present, President Obama said he would continue to look for ways to engage with the Cuban people and encourage democracy there. U.S. policies for supporting civil society in the island nation are beginning to show results, he said, and our government must continue to be “creative and thoughtful” in its policies.
The same approaches taken in years past can’t be expected to remain effective in an ever-changing world, he added.
The President said the United States recognizes the importance of engaging with the pro-democracy and human rights activists who have been working for years to expand the political and civil rights of all Cubans. Through these and other efforts, the United States strives to bring about greater contact and mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and Cuba.