24 Senators Call on Rice to Review US-Cuba Policy


Republican Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Larry Craig (R-ID), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Arlen Specter (R-PA) join 19 Democrat Senators on a letter calling for the State Department and Condoleezza Rice to do a full policy review of America’s relations toward Cuba. This follows a similar letter sent from the House of Representatives to the executive branch with the signatures of 100 House Members.
Here is a pdf of the Senate letter — and some other excellent analysis at TWN by guest-blogger Anya Landau French.

Dem Senators on the letter include Max Baucus (D-MT), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Tom Harkin (D-IA).
Here is the full text of the letter calling for a revision of America’s policies towards Cuba:

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice,
On Tuesday, February 19, Fidel Castro resigned after serving as Cuba’s leader for nearly 50 years. This welcome and historic event provides the United States with an important opportunity to reflect upon and reconsider U.S. policy toward Cuba.
Our current policy of isolation and estrangement has failed. Cuba’s political system is stable after five decades of American efforts to force change on the island. New laws that tightened sanctions in 1992 and 1996 have had no effect. The administration’s 2004 sanctions and its comprehensive plan to bring about transition in Cuba have failed in their objective. The absence of Fidel Castro for 20 months has not led to a change in the system.
Instead, our current policy deprives the United States of influence in Cuba, including the opportunity to promote principles that advance democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. By restricting the ability of Americans to travel freely to Cuba, we limit contact and communication on the part of families, civil society, and government. Likewise, by restricting the ability of our farmers, ranchers, and businesses to trade with Cuba, the United States has made itself irrelevant in Cuba’s growing economy, allowing Cuba to build economic partnerships elsewhere.
There is no magic U.S. policy that will transform Cuba. But with Cuba facing a period of change, we have a new opportunity to seize. Our policy based on sanctions, passivity, and waiting should end. We need a new approach that defends human rights, is confident about the value of American engagement with Cubans, builds new economic bridges between America and Cuba, and seeks every possible avenue of increasing American influence.
We urge you to take a fresh look at our policy toward Cuba. We should seize upon Castro’s long-awaited and welcome departure to chart a new course that favors hope and engagement over isolation and estrangement.

More to come.
— Steve Clemons


2 comments on “24 Senators Call on Rice to Review US-Cuba Policy

  1. jim miller says:

    –b/c identity politics has been injected into the election from all corners(health care, economics, race, religion, nationality..etc} BO must respong otherwise these FALSE negatives become his identity…
    –BO’s campaign did not begin to distribute this negative bile while delaring it was being attacked by the media, nor do I blame HRC’s campaign…it has been to MASSIVE to track…only a blind person would deny it’s existence.
    –Look at the facts,
    1. People said he was unamerican commie.
    a. weather undergound smear(both canidates have meet w.o members. billy pardoned.
    b. secret photo dressed in “muslim gear”
    c. the farrakhan(sp.) question.
    d. no flag on lapel
    e. accused of disrespecting american flag.
    2. Muslim
    -see c/d/e above for specifics and it seem there is an broader attempt to inflict a militant image.
    3. I ll leave the foreign policy FALSE negatives(false=lack of true/factual evidence)to Steve and other experts of his ilk to identify it.
    A new narrative is defintiely being written/told in the election. It is not being properly sourced yet it seems to be getting lots and lots of msm attention. Wherever its coming from, its stench is disgusting and loathsome, while its impact is downright disappointing.


  2. JohnH says:

    Another example of what a hapless bunch of losers our Senators are–asking the incomparably incompetent Condi to do anything guarantees its failure. They just don’t learn from experience.
    Count this as a diversion from investigating Roger Clemens instead of war crimes…


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