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In a first, Cuba’s private business owners will be able to use U.S. banks, Treasury says

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The Biden administration will finally allow Cuban independent entrepreneurs to open bank accounts in the United States remotely from the island, among other measures to support the private sector in Cuba that were halted for months due to objections from Congress.

Senior administration officials told reporters on Tuesday that the Treasury Department crafted new regulations to modify the decades-old embargo on the island. The new regulations will allow private business owners in Cuba to open U.S. bank accounts and conduct authorized transactions, “including through online payment platforms,” removing a significant hurdle for the private enterprises.

The embargo imposed on Cuba in the 1960s cut the island off from the U.S. banking system. Currently, Cubans visiting the U.S. can open a bank account here, but they cannot access their money once they return to the island. The embargo restrictions were initially aimed at the Cuban government, but they are now limiting private entrepreneurs, who must come up with creative and expensive ways to pay for imports from abroad.

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