THE WHITE HOUSEFor Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Office of the Press Secretary
April 13, 2009
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
SUBJECT: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba
The promotion of democracy and human rights in Cuba is in the national interest of the United States and is a key component of this Nation's foreign policy in the Americas. Measures that decrease dependency of the Cuban people on the Castro regime and that promote contacts between Cuban-Americans and their relatives in Cuba are means to encourage positive change in Cuba. The United States can pursue these goals by facilitating greater contact between separated family members in the United States and Cuba and increasing the flow of remittances and information to the Cuban people.
To pursue those ends, I direct the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to take such actions as necessary to:
(a) Lift restrictions on travel-related transactions for visits to a person's family member who is a national of Cuba by authorizing such transactions by a general license that shall:
- Define family members who may be visited to be persons within three degrees of family relationship (e.g., second cousins) and to allow individuals who share a common dwelling as a family with an authorized traveler to accompany them;
- Remove limitations on the frequency of visits;
- Remove limitations on the duration of a visit;
- Authorize expenditure amounts that are the same as non-family travel; and
- Remove the 44-pound limitation on accompanied baggage.
- Authorizing remittances to individuals within three degrees of family relationship (e.g., second cousins) provided that no remittances shall be authorized to currently prohibited members of the Government of Cuba or currently prohibited members of the Cuban Communist Party;
- Removing limits on frequency of remittances;
- Removing limits on the amount of remittances;
- Authorizing travelers to carry up to $3,000 in remittances; and
- Establishing general license for banks and other depository institutions to forward remittances.
(d) License U.S. telecommunications service providers to enter into and operate under roaming service agreements with Cuba's telecommunications service providers.
(e) License U.S. satellite radio and satellite television service providers to engage in transactions necessary to provide services to customers in Cuba.
(f) License persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to activate and pay U.S. and third-country service providers for telecommunications, satellite radio, and satellite television services provided to individuals in Cuba, except certain senior Communist Party and Cuban government officials.
(g) Authorize, consistent with national security concerns, the export or reexport to Cuba of donated personal communications devices such as mobile phone systems, computers and software, and satellite receivers through a license exception.
(h) Expand the scope of humanitarian donations eligible for export through license exceptions by:
- Restoring clothing, personal hygiene items, seeds, veterinary medicines and supplies, fishing equipment and supplies, and soap-making equipment to the list of items eligible to be included in gift parcel donations;
- Restoring items normally exchanged as gifts by individuals in "usual and reasonable" quantities to the list of items eligible to be included in gift parcel donations;
- Expanding the scope of eligible gift parcel donors to include any individual;
- Expanding the scope of eligible gift parcel donees to include individuals other than Cuban Communist Party officials or Cuban government officials already prohibited from receiving gift parcels, or charitable, educational, or religious organizations not administered or controlled by the Cuban government; and
- Increasing the value limit on non-food items to $800.
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