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Some not happy with Biden administration's loosened Cuba restrictions

The State Department said the move is "to support Cubans' aspirations for freedom and economic opportunities."

DENVER — President Joe Biden's administration on Monday announced measures intended to increase support for Cuban people. The State Department said it would reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program and lift a cap on the amount of money relatives can send to family on the island. 

The department said the move is "to support Cubans' aspirations for freedom and economic opportunities."

Thousands of miles away, a Cuban in Colorado did not buy it. 

"The Cuban on the street, the regular Cuban, is not really gaining much from this new relief package," Alejandro, a Denver artist who did not want to share his last name in fear of his family's safety, said.

"I have to be honest, 99% of the Cuban community, from regular people to people who are active in the political world, they all feel extremely betrayed by the Biden administration with this move, and I don’t blame them. I think it’s in their right to feel that way," he said.

The announcement came just a day after Cuba passed a new penal code that human rights groups believe is tougher on dissent. 

"Most people feel betrayed. They feel the Biden administration rewarded the Cuban regime for passing one of the worst penal codes in the world," Alejandro said. "It's using the entire iron fist of the law to imprison people for decades, in jail, many of them kids."

In a statement, State Department spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged those jailed due to dissent. 

"We continue to call on the Cuban government to immediately release political prisoners, to respect the Cuban people’s fundamental freedoms and to allow the Cuban people to determine their own futures," Price said.

Alejandro acknowledged some families will benefit from these latest moves, including his own. His aunt has been attempting to get to the United States to reunite with her children. But the Denver artist can't help but think about the thousands of others still imprisoned. He hopes the Biden administration will take action to help them as well. 

"The Cuban dictatorship is killing our people and we need help and we won’t stop until we are free or we get some help," he said.

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