Friday, June 25, 2010

House Agriculture Committee to Consider Decisive Change in U.S.-Cuba Policy

House Agriculture Committee to Consider Decisive Change in U.S.-Cuba Policy

WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In reaction to the
announcement by the House Agriculture Committee that it will meet to
mark-up legislation to end the ban on travel by Americans to Cuba and to
remove key impediments to U.S. agriculture exports to the island, key
experts on Cuba policy issued the following statements:

"This is the moment for making a decisive change in Cuba policy; a
change that will put money in the pockets of American farmers and
workers, put better food on Cuban tables, and put more Americans on
Cuban streets and in Cuban homes. A policy that ends the travel ban and
sells more food to Cuba puts our country on the side of the Cuban
people, and we applaud the Committee for scheduling the legislation,"
said Sarah Stephens of the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

"It's time for a decisive change in Cuba policy. U.S. citizens want
their right to travel restored. Rather than waiting another fifty years
for Cuba to change, sending American food and tourists to Cuba will make
life better for the Cuban people now. We support Chairman Peterson in
moving ahead with a vote in the Agriculture Committee on this
legislation," said Mavis Anderson of the Latin America Working Group.

"Moving to end the travel ban and to sell more food to Cuba is not only
good for Americans and Cubans, but also critical for restoring relevance
to U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. Engaging the Cuban people, as
this effort would do, will enhance the U.S. image and our effectiveness
in the region. This is welcome news to those who think it is long past
time to change our outmoded approach to Cuba," said Anya Landau French
of the New America Foundation.

"The Peterson-Moran bill takes U.S. Cuba policy in a sensible direction.
It moves away from the unilateral sanctions we've imposed for fifty
years, and expands travel, communication and dialogue, while opening up
sales opportunities for U.S. businesses. We're pleased that Chairman
Peterson is moving the bill toward a vote," said Geoff Thale of the
Washington Office on Latin America.

The Committee has scheduled a mark-up of H.R. 4645, introduced by
Chairman Collin Peterson with support from 62 cosponsors, for June 30,

For more information: Center for Democracy in the Americas; Latin
America Working Group; New America Foundation; Washington Office on
Latin America

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