Congressional Opposition to U.S. Helping Cuban Private Businesses  

As previously noted, the Biden Administration has been developing regulations to allow private Cuban entrepreneurs to open bank accounts in the United States to facilitate their operations and allow U.S. banks to clear dollar transactions originating in third countries that involve Cuban nationals. But those proposed regulations have not yet been publicly announced.[1]

The apparent reason for this delay has been opposition by Florida Republican Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, who has said both in public and in meetings with administration officials that he is against providing any aid to the Cuban government. Díaz-Balart, the chairman of a House subcommittee that makes decisions on the State Department budget, has been for a long time a strong supporter of sanctions against the Cuban regime.[2]

Moreover, the budget bill that Díaz-Balart helped pass in the House to fund the State Department and other foreign aid programs says that the $30 million for democracy promotion programs in Cuba cannot be used “for business promotion, economic reform, entrepreneurship, or any other assistance that is not democracy building.” This bill, however, still needs to be reconciled with the Senate version.

According to a State Department spokesman, however, “Longstanding U.S. policy supports Cuban entrepreneurs and the growth and independence of Cuba’s private sector to maximize benefit to the Cuban people while minimizing benefit to the Cuban government. We have seen encouraging signs that the Cuban government is opening more space for the private sector, and we believe its continued growth provides a window of opportunity to introduce the Cuban people to a different societal model, one fueled by market economics rather than government control.”


[1] E.g., Signs of Increasing Connections Between Cuban Private Enterprise and U.S., (Sept. 27, 2023).

[2] Torres, Proposed policy changes to help the private sector in Cuba face opposition in Congress, Miami Herald (Oct. 20, 2023).


Published by


As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

One thought on “Congressional Opposition to U.S. Helping Cuban Private Businesses  ”

Leave a Reply