McCollum Statement on Normalizing U.S.-Cuba Relations
Washington, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced a new course for American relations with Cuba. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) released the following statement regarding that announcement:
“Today is a historic day that marks a new beginning in relations between the U.S. and Cuba. I congratulate President Obama for his efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and to begin easing the trade restrictions between our countries. I would also like to thank the President for his efforts to secure the release of USAID worker Alan Gross from prison in Cuba.
“While traveling to Cuba this past summer, I saw the tremendous opportunities that exist between the people of our two countries to find common ground in pursuit of human rights, in the service of a democratic transformation and economically. The connections between the American people and the Cuban people are far stronger than any differences. Normalized diplomatic relations will allow us to focus on achieving our shared goals through cooperation and communication – a formula that has served the United States well in nations around the world.
“I will continue to work to end the trade embargo between our two countries as I have done since I came to Congress in 2001. Ending the embargo and normalizing trade relations is good for Minnesota businesses and good for the people of Cuba. It is my hope that the politics and politicians in South Florida who have held U.S.- Cuba relations hostage for decades will abandon their Cold War-era policies and join those of us seeking full diplomatic and economic engagement with the Cuban government and its people.
“Today’s news is a fantastic step forward that is long overdue. President Obama’s leadership on this issue has been extraordinary and will help us foster the expansion of human rights, security and democracy in the Western Hemisphere.”