Monday, September 8, 2008
The U.S. State Department has just released this transcript of a question asked to the State Department Spokesman:
Question: What is your reaction to the call to temporarily loosen restrictions on travel and sending money to Cuba in the wake of Hurricane Gustav?Answer: We have been heartened by the outpouring of compassion for hurricane victims in Cuba. The U.S. Government has offered humanitarian aid to the Cuban people that would be distributed through in-country non-governmental organizations.
In fact, there is sufficient flexibility under existing regulations to permit humanitarian organizations or individuals licensed to send money and other assistance to Cuba to significantly increase such assistance in support of Hurricane Gustav relief efforts. The State Department has been coordinating closely with the Treasury Department and the Commerce Department to facilitate humanitarian relief directed to hurricane victims in Cuba.
We do not believe that at this time it is necessary to loosen the restrictions on remittances and travel to Cuba to accomplish the objective of aiding the hurricane victims. Non-governmental organizations on the ground in Cuba are already mobilizing to provide such assistance.