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Cuba: Remittances in Cuba, What People Do with the Money

By codifying the US’ complex relationship with Cuba, the Helms-Burton Act intervenes on an issue that is particularly sensitive for Cubans, remittances. More specifically, I’m talking about Title I, Section 112 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act:

“It is the sense of the Congress that the President should–   (1)(A) before considering the reinstitution of general licenses for family remittances to Cuba, insist that, prior to such reinstitution, the Cuban Government permit the unfettered operation of small businesses fully empowered with the right to hire others to whom they may pay wages and to buy materials necessary in the operation of the businesses; and before considering the reinstitution of general licenses for Cuban nationals who reside in the United States to travel to Cuba to visit their families by individuals residing in the United States who are family members of Cuban nationals who are resident in Cuba, insist on such actions by the Cuban Government as abrogation of the sanction for departure from Cuba by refugees, release of political prisoners, recognition of the right of association, and other fundamental freedoms.”

Still rejecting its interfering nature, the paragraph refers to key problems in Cuba, and we will take a look at the first one in this article: remittances as the driving force of Cuba’s economy. Some figures from the Havana Consulting Group, a research organization based in Miami, are quoted by different economists:

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