Congresswoman urges restoration of Obama's Cuban policies

Friday, June 23, 2017

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NEW YORK, USA (CMC) —Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette C Clarke has called on her colleagues in the United States House of Representatives and the Senate to join in an effort to restore former US President Barack Obama's “practical, common-sense approach” towards Cuba.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, made the call as incumbent US President Donald J Trump announced last week that he would, among other things, limit travel by American citizens to Cuba and restrict financial transactions with many sectors of Cuba's economy.

“President Obama worked to transcend past mistakes and build a future defined by the common interests and aspirations of the United States and Cuba,” Clarke told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

“Collaboration on issues such as family reunification, human rights, the interdiction of narcotics, and investment offer enormous benefits to the people of both nations. Now Donald Trump wants to undermine those achievements, and turn toward a policy of mutual mistrust,” she added.

She said the “vast majority of Republicans and Democrats understand that the Cold War policy separating families and restricting economic development has outlived its usefulness.

“I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate to join in an effort to restore President Obama's practical, common-sense approach,” Clarke said.

Over the weekend, another Caribbean American legislator described as “misguided” Trump's new policy on Cuba.

New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, told CMC that Trump's decision to reverse some key elements of the Obama Administration's policies on opening up relations with Cuba was “not only misguided, but resets the button that will take our new relationship with Cuba back to a relationship with resistance”.

Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, said that while Trump “purports to want to drive Cuba to do away with communism and embrace democracy, his actions would suggest otherwise.

“Instead, this policy reversal is more likely to drive Cuba toward allying with communist countries such as China and Russia,” she added.

“Although the reversal is not a complete reversal — for example, there will still be flights to and from Cuba, embassies will stay open, and Cuban-Americans will still be able to travel back and forth and send money to family members Americans will no longer be able to plan their own private travel.

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