Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cuban flag raised over embassy in Washington

Congressman Randy Forbes



This week, the Cuban embassy was re-opened in Washington, D.C., after being closed for over half a century. The United States also re-opened its embassy in Havana.  Since 1961, the two nations have not had formal diplomatic relations, and the United States has maintained a strict ban on the majority of trade with Cuba as long as the Cuban government continued to resist the establishment of democracy and disregard human rights concerns.

The resumption of diplomatic relations, however, came as a result of President Obama's announcement last December to begin efforts to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, loosen financial and travel restrictions, and authorize certain commercial sales and exports to Cuba's growing private sector.

While the Administration has the authority to normalize relations with Cuba, Congress holds the power to lift the over 50-year-old ban on trade between the two countries. Members of Congress who support the Administration contend that it is time to move away from outdated policies of the past. However, many remain concerned that the process to resume diplomatic relations has been premature and rushed, without the necessary reforms on Cuba's part in return for the concessions made by the United States.

Question of the Week: Do you agree with the Administration's decision to re-open the embassies, and re-establish diplomatic, economic, and travel ties with Cuba?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don't know.
(  ) Other.

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week's InstaPoll here.


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