Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), a co-founder of the Cuba Working Group, released the following statement on the change in leadership in Cuba:
“For the first time in nearly six decades, the world will know Cuba without a Castro at the helm. For the United States, this is an opportunity for improving our relationship with our neighbor just 90 miles off the Florida coast – a chance we cannot afford to let slip through our grasp.
“Should the United States fail to build on this change, other nations will continue to fill the void, curbing market access for U.S. farmers and businesses, handicapping our national security, and limiting access by the Cuban people to important elements of the United States’ economy, culture, values, and democratic ideals. While President Obama made immeasurable strides towards repairing and normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, President Trump has prioritized rolling back our progress. We must act quickly to end the travel ban and the embargo and repair this relationship before the window of opportunity closes.
“For years, efforts to improve relations between our two nations have been an Executive Branch-led endeavor. If Congress is serious about repairing U.S.-Cuban ties and improving the well-being of the Cuban people, we must take action to reset relations and ensure the next 60 years are not filled with the same outdated, unproductive, and shortsighted rhetoric and policies of generations past.”