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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Welcomes the President’s New Course on Cuba

December 17, 2014
Press Release

Congresswoman Waters Welcomes the President's New Course on Cuba


Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) issued a statement congratulating the President for his announcement of historic steps to chart a new course in U.S. relations with Cuba.  Her statement follows:


"As a long-time advocate of improved relations with Cuba who has traveled to the island several times, I commend the President for initiating discussions with Cuba on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and for authorizing increased trade, facilitating remittances, and expanding opportunities for Americans to travel to this island nation, just 90 miles off our shore.


The United States has for years been supporting an unreasonable policy with regard to Cuba.  The embargo is counterproductive and has done more harm than good to the cause of freedom in Cuba, and I fully support President Obama's efforts to move us towards a more rational policy in this area.


Allowing expanded commercial activity with Cuba will enhance U.S. national security, create opportunities for American businesses and workers, and provide goods and services that will improve the living standards of the Cuban people.  Facilitating trade in consumer communications equipment and telecommunications services will increase Cubans' access to information and their ability to communicate freely.  Facilitating remittances will be especially helpful for Cuban Americans desiring to assist their families in Cuba. 


Expanding opportunities for Americans to travel to Cuba is good foreign policy, and it is consistent with American values.  Throughout the Cold War, individual Americans traveled to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  They met with individual citizens, and they talked about life in America.  Some attended universities and educational programs, and some of them met with dissidents.  Enabling American students, professionals, businesspeople, religious leaders, and human rights activists to travel freely to Cuba will serve American interests, empower civil society in Cuba, and educate the Cuban people about the American way of life.


I congratulate the President, and I look forward to working with him to chart a new course in our nation's relations with Cuba."