Sunday, September 27, 2020

Rep. Nancy Pelosi leads congressional delegation on diplomatic mission to Cuba

Nancy Pelosi Holds Weekly Press Briefing

In an ongoing effort to normalize diplomatic relations with the long-estranged island nation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a coalition of congressional Democrats headed to Cuba yesterday to build on the strategies and initiatives introduced by President Obama in December. This marks the second trip since the Jimmy Carter administration in which a high-ranking government official publicly traveled to Cuba on such a mission, where the congressional delegation is set to meet with Cuban government officials, community leaders and Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

“This delegation will work to advance the U.S. – Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade,” read a statement from Pelosi’s office. “We must acknowledge our policy towards Cuba is a relic of a bygone era that weakens our leadership in the Americas and has not advanced freedom and prosperity in Cuba.”

The trip comes as a bipartisan Senate legislation was introduced to lift the Cuban trade embargo, known as the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act. The bill is aimed at eliminating legal barriers for Americans to conduct business in Cuba, and for Cubans to have broader access to American goods.

“It’s time to turn the page on our Cuba policy,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, a cosponsor of the bill. “There are many issues in our relationship with Cuba that must be addressed, but this legislation to lift the embargo will begin to open up new opportunities for American companies, boost job creation and exports, and help improve the quality of life for the Cuban people.”

But Cuban President Raul Castro has warned that these normalizing procedures will be rendered “meaningless” should the U.S. interfere in Cuban affairs, while also requesting the return of Guantanamo Bay. These negotiations in Cuba are without precedent, but will likely not be without challenge.

Latin Post