REPORT: Biden White House Considers Beefing Up Embassy In Cuba, Granting Remittances To Cubans

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden ordered his administration Monday to review the possibility of increasing the number of personnel stationed at the U.S. embassy in Cuba, also creating a group to consider remittances for Cuban families.

Biden’s response comes more than a week after historic protests erupted in Cuba against the nation’s communist regime. Biden and his administration have expressed support for the protests and have condemned communism as a “universally failed system,” but have yet to take any actions to support the movement. Now, however, the administration is reviewing multiple potential avenues for supporting the protesters, the Miami Herald reported Monday. (RELATED: ‘I Fought For Cuba, They Didn’t’: Trump Says Biden Admin’s Response To Cuba Is An ‘Insult To Every Cuban Patriot Who Has Suffered’)

“At President Biden’s direction, the United States is actively pursuing measures that will both support the Cuban people and hold the Cuban regime accountable,” a senior administration official told the Miami Herald as well as McClatchy. “The administration will form a Remittance Working Group to identify the most effective way to get remittances directly into the hands of the Cuban people.”

President Joe Biden speaks about voting rights on July 13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden speaks about voting rights on July 13 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Officials have also confirmed to The Associated Press that Biden is looking at plans to increase staffing at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Biden has previously expressed skepticism of sending remittances to Cuba, arguing that the nation’s corrupt government would simply confiscate the funds before reaching the Cuban people. The administration’s working group plans to develop a way to circumvent the Cuban government, however.

“Cuba is unfortunately a failed state and repressing their citizens. There are a number of things that we would consider doing to help the people of Cuba, but it would require a different circumstance or a guarantee that they would not be taken advantage of by the government,” Biden said Thursday. “For example, the ability to send remittances back to Cuba. We would not do that now because the fact is it’s highly likely the regime would confiscate those remittances or big chunks of it.”

Some commentators have criticized the Biden administration’s response to the Cuba protests, arguing the White House has been lethargic and hesitant to speak against the communist regime.