WASHINGTON – Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) this week submitted a Statement for the Congressional Record outlining opportunities to advance the United States’ relationship with Cuba. In the statement, Senator Welch warns that the policies currently in place amount to little more than a continuation of the failed agenda of the previous administration.
The statement notes that the policies are “contributing, directly and indirectly, to widespread hardships and hunger in Cuba that caused some 313,000 Cubans to abandon the island last year alone, seeking entry to the United States.”
“As any objective observer of Cuba knows, since long before the Castro revolution the Cuban people have suffered continuous deprivations and humiliations. Political oppression and severely limited economic opportunities, punctuated by recurrent natural disasters, have circumscribed their lives. Through it all, they have persevered, propelled by their extraordinary ingenuity, national pride, and innate resilience. However, the mass exodus of Cubans in the past two years illustrates how dire the situation has become,” the statement continues.
Senator Welch outlines several United States policies that have stalled the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the two nations, a key priority of his predecessor, Senator Patrick Leahy.
Welch suggests actions the United States can and should take now to reset the U.S.-Cuba relationship including:
- Cuba must be removed from the state sponsors of terrorism list,
- The Biden Administration should take steps to strengthen Cuba’s private sector and enable the Cuban people to develop a healthy economy on the island, including by waiving the extra-territorial sanctions under Title 3 of the Helms-Burton Act; and
- The United States should continue the path of improving diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuban governments, including sending an ambassador to Havana.
Read the full Statement for the Record here.