Democratic senator insists on lifting U.S. blockade of Cuba

Edited by Catherin López
2023-01-05 22:09:28


Wyden chairs the Senate Finance Committee and was the first legislator to visit Cuba in four years.

Washington, Jan 5 (RHC) Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said Thursday that he will continue efforts to end the U.S. blockade of Cuba and normalize trade relations between the two countries.


Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and was the first legislator to visit Cuba in four years. He also advocated support for non-state forms of economic management in the Caribbean country, a sector he said is "vibrant".


In this sense, he urged President Joe Biden's administration to strengthen support for small and medium-sized private Cuban enterprises through the creation of more general licenses and access to international banking.


According to his official web page, the Oregon legislator intends to discuss his ideas with his colleagues in the Upper House "in the next few weeks".


He reiterated that three of his long-standing priorities for which he intends to rally support are "ending the economic embargo, normalizing U.S.-Cuba trade relations, and eliminating Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism".


During his recent visit to Havana, Wyden was received by Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who ratified his willingness to work together to improve bilateral relations for the benefit of both peoples.


The senator is the sponsor of a bill to end the unilateral siege that the White House has imposed on the island for more than 60 years. Last year, he urged the Biden-Harris administration to reverse the failed policies of Donald Trump (2017-2021) toward Cuba.


The so-called U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021 seeks to repeal outdated sanctions and establish normal trade relations with the island nation.


"Our nation's embargo (blockade) of Cuba is an artifact of the 1960s. Continuing this outdated and harmful policy of isolation would be a failure of U.S. leadership," he stressed.


"While Trump increased tensions with Cuba during his disastrous tenure, I am optimistic about President Biden's new diplomatic course," Wyden said at the time.


"Regardless, Congress has a moral and economic obligation to the American people to improve U.S.-Cuba relations as quickly and safely as possible," he warned.


The U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021 would remove key statutes codifying sanctions against Cuba, including the Helms-Burton Act and the Cuban Democracy Act, as well as other provisions affecting trade, investment, and travel to Cuba; it would also establish normal relations with that country.


Along with Wyden, Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vermont), Richard Durbin (Illinois), and Jeff Merkley (Oregon) also signed the bill. (Source: PL)


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