White House decision awaited on Cuba remittances - U.S. official

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WASHINGTON, Feb 3 (Reuters) - The White House has received recommendations for easing the flow of remittances to Cuba that were severely restricted under the Trump administration and "we await their decision," a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols also told lawmakers Washington would send temporary-duty consular officers to the Havana embassy to increase visa processing there, another step that would loosen limits imposed under former President Donald Trump.

A senior U.S. official said in November that the White House had received remittances proposals but some had been sent back for further work to ensure that money sent by Cuban Americans to families on the island does not fall into the hands of Cuba's Communist government. Nichols on Thursday did not provide any timetable for a decision.

President Joe Biden in July asked the Treasury Department and State Department to study the matter and report back on how to allow the flow of remittance payments, once a financial lifeline for many Cubans. (Reporting By Matt Spetalnick)