President Donald Trump has announced a series of changes to the Obama-era Cuba policy and is challenging the Cuban government to negotiate a better deal.
Trump says in a speech in Miami that the U.S. will not lift sanctions on Cuba until it releases all political prisoners and respects the Cuban people’s right to freedom of assembly and expression.
Trump is also calling for the legalization of all political parties, and free and internationally supervised elections.
The president says his new policy will also restrict the flow of American dollars to the military, security and intelligence services that are the core of the government led by Raul Castro.
He has challenged Cuba to “come to the table” to strike a deal that serves both country’s interests.
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today issued the following statement after the President’s visit to Cuba:
“While I support the administration’s efforts to reevaluate our trading relationships to make certain we put America first, for Kansas’ economy and for our ag community, putting America first means exporting what we produce to countries across the globe. Cuba is a natural market for our nation’s farmers and ranchers, and when we don’t sell to Cuba, another country does. In addition, increased engagement with the United States empowers the Cuban people. I remain invested in finding ways to increase trade with Cuba rather than cut off relationships that have the potential to create new jobs, bring in revenue and boost our national economy.”
Sen. Moran’s background on Cuba trade policy:
Sen. Moran introduced legislation, the Cuba Trade Act of 2017, in March of this year to restore trade with Cuba and grant the private sector the freedom to export American goods and services to Cuba while protecting U.S. taxpayers from any risk or exposure associated with such trade. He introduced similar legislation in 2015.
Sen. Moran has long fought for commonsense changes to trade policy with Cuba to open up more markets for American farmers and ranchers. As a member of the House of Representatives, then-Rep. Moran offered an amendment (H.Amdt.1031 to H.R.4871) prohibiting funds from being used to enforce sanctions for food, medicine and agriculture products in a sale to Cuba. His amendment passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 301-116. The adoption of this amendment opened another needed market to farmers throughout the country. Unfortunately, changes in regulations by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2005 once again severely restricted this market for U.S. agriculture producers.
Click here to learn more about Sen. Moran’s views on the importance of trade with Cuba.