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Florida attorney general, members of Congress lash out at Biden for allowing U.S. bank accounts for Cuban entities

Moody said the president was manipulated by the Castro regime, highlighting that this is the first time in more than 60 years that the U.S. will open its banking institutions to potential collaborators or affiliates of the Cuban communist dictatorship.

Fiscal arremete contra Biden
La fiscal general de Florida Ashley Moody | EFE

May 31, 2024 2:23am

Updated: May 31, 2024 8:53am

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called upon the Biden administration to stop supporting alleged Cuban “entrepreneurs,” who could be linked to the island's communist regime, in a statement released on Thursday. Her comments come after the federal government allowed Cuban entities that claim to be independent of Castro regime control to open and use U.S. bank accounts.

The Florida attorney general said that Biden was being manipulated by the Castro regime and highlighted that this is the first time in more than 60 years that the United States will open its banking institutions to possible collaborators or affiliates of the Cuban communist dictatorship.

“President Biden continues to be manipulated by the Castro regime, and now, for the first time in more than 60 years, the United States will open its banking institutions to those who may support or be affiliated with the communist dictatorship,” the attorney general said in an announcement she posted on the X social media platform. “These ill-thought out amendments will likely do little to help the suffering of the Cuban people and will only strengthen those bad actors who keep the Cuban people oppressed.”

Moody recalled that last year, in the face of criticism from the opposition in Congress and the Cuban-American community, the Biden administration declined to implement the same measure. Critics argued that legitimate free enterprise does not exist in communist Cuba and that private companies are controlled by people linked to the island's government.

“The Biden administration has inexplicably ignored these concerns and moved on,” Moody added.

The prosecutor extended her concerns to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In a letter, Moody warned about the risks of this measure, suggesting that it could allow companies controlled by members of the communist regime to infiltrate the U.S. market under the guise of independent private sector entrepreneurs.

Last Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that, starting that same day, Cuban entrepreneurs could "remotely open, maintain and use U.S. bank accounts through online payment platforms to carry out authorized transactions" either from the United States, Cuba or any other country in the world.

The measure, as explained by the Treasury, aims to “promote internet freedom in Cuba, support independent entrepreneurs in the private sector and expand access to certain financial services for the Cuban people.”

Until now, Cubans who visited the United States could open bank accounts in the U.S., but they could not use them once they returned to Cuba due to the embargo against the Cuban regime.

The United States also updated its definition of a Cuban entrepreneur to include, in addition to self-employed workers, cooperatives and small private companies with up to 100 employees, which will be able to access the North American banking system.

This measure has been strongly criticized by American legislators of Cuban origin.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio expressed his disapproval through his social networks, stating that Cuba's “private sector” is a façade to enrich the Castro and Díaz-Canel regime.

María Elvira Salazar, a Republican congresswoman representing South Florida said the Biden administration is living up to expectations. 

As I warned, the Biden Admin is now giving the ‘Cuban private sector’ access to the U.S. financial system. This would make a mockery of American law, considering no progress has been made toward freedom on the Island and repression has intensified,” the Miami based congresswoman lamented.

Rep. Carlos Giménez, a Cuban born congressional representative of Miami-Dade County, held a press conference in Coral Gables yesterday to address the matter, and made a video statement saying the administration was “crazy” if officials “actually believe there’s private enterprise in Cuba.”

Florida, home to the largest community of Cuban exiles, has seen an increase in political tensions following this measure. Critics argue that any economic benefits obtained by so-called Cuban “entrepreneurs” will ultimately reinforce the Cuban regime, rather than fostering true economic freedom on the island.