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Opinion

Cuba embargo is failed policy

I recently traveled to Cuba on a People-to-People delegation, where I saw the effects of the U.S. embargo firsthand.

Clearly this is a failed policy that has hurt the very people it claims to be helping - the average Cuban. This has become a bipartisan issue, where the majority of people in the U.S. now support normalizing relations and lifting the embargo.

Key pieces of legislation have been introduced in both the House and the Senate to lift the embargo and travel ban. In the Senate, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, and in the House, Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) introduced the Cuba Trade Act. These lawmakers not only see a diplomatic need for change, but also are aware of the economic opportunities of reestablishing trade. Three of our four senators in Idaho and Washington co-sponsor the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, with only Congressman Jim Risch unwilling to listen to the resounding voices of U.S. citizens, Cubans and his colleagues in Congress. In the House, neither Cathy McMorris Rodgers nor Raul Labrador co-sponsor the Cuba Trade Act.

It is time for our representatives to let go of the status quo and support lifting the embargo on Cuba.

Kris Hannigan-Luther

Coeur d’Alene

 

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