This first appeared on April 14, 2009
By Humberto Fontova
On April 13th President Obama lifted all restrictions on travel and remittances by family members to their kin in Cuba. Most Cuba-watchers see this as the first step towards a rapid dismantling of what little is left of the so-called "Cuban embargo."
Here's a few things you're not hearing from the MSM regarding travel and remittances to Cuba. Until fairly recently, the Castro regime (classified by the U.S. State Department as a state-sponsor-of terrorism, and classified by the liberal media as a victim of a "cruel U.S. embargo") was in fact enjoying a (conservatively estimated) $1 billion a year lifeline straight from the U.S., which also serves as Cuba's biggest food-supplier and 5th biggest commercial partner. The $1 billion plus bundle came in the form of cash remittances to Cuba from some of Castro's former subjects and from the spending by these former subjects upon their frequent visits to their homeland. This $1 billion in remittances approached China's monetary infusion into Cuba.