President Clinton is expected to escalate pressure on Cuban leader Fidel Castro by cutting the flow of U.S. money to Cuba and reducing air flights, a senior administration official said Friday night.
Clinton, who was expected to announce at least four steps against the Castro regime Saturday, discussed the possible moves Friday night at the White House with Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles and several Cuban-American leaders.Chiles, who told reporters afterward he would return to the White House on Saturday, said: "A lot of views were exchanged. Everybody's going to do a little thinking about it."
A senior administration official who participated in the meeting said the options discussed were aimed at "stepping up the pressure" on Castro, as the U.S. deals with increasing numbers of refugees fleeing the island.
The official said Clinton was expected to announce that he was reducing the number of charter flights permitted between Miami and Havana.
Clinton also was expected to cut the amount of U.S. currency that may be sent from the United States to individuals living in Cuba.
The current quarterly maximum is $300. Officials said one proposal under consideration would slash that amount to $150.
The United States also intends to increase the number of anti-Castro broadcasts aimed at Cuba from the United States.
The official said the United States also will present the United Nations with resolutions condemning human-rights violations by the Castro government.
On Friday Clinton reversed a 28-year-old policy and announced that Cubans picked up at sea would not be allowed into the United States. Instead, they will be detained at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.