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Newsline: U.S. set to announce increased staffing at Havana embassy to process visas

The Biden administration is expected to announce as soon as this week a plan to beef up its skeletal staffing in the U.S. embassy in Havana to restore visa processing for Cubans that had been largely suspended in recent years, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. (https://www.rawstory.com/exclusive-u-s-set-to-announce-increased-staffing-at-havana-embassy-to-process-visas-sources/) The deployment of additional consular officers to Havana, a result of President Joe Biden’s ongoing year-long review of policy on communist-led Cuba, would mark an initial phase of easing strict limits on visas imposed under former President Donald Trump. The State Department under Trump sharply scaled back embassy staff in 2017 following “anomalous health incidents” that came to be known as “Havana syndrome.” The unexplained illnesses first affected employees in the Cuban capital and later cropped up in other parts of the world. The drawdown all but halted visa processing for Cubans who in many cases seek to emigrate or travel to the United States to reunite with families. It coincided with Trump’s rollback of a historic rapprochement that his predecessor, Barack Obama, oversaw between the United States and Cuba.

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