08.13.15

Congresswoman Lee to Attend Embassy Opening in Havana

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office announced she will accompany Secretary of State John Kerry to the U.S. flag-raising ceremony in Havana. The Congresswoman released this statement:

“I am honored to join Secretary of State John Kerry, American diplomats and my Congressional colleagues on this historic trip to open the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The opening of this embassy marks a new chapter in  relations between the U.S. and Cuba. With renewed and regular diplomatic relations, diplomats will be able to engage their counterparts to advance a range of issues important to our nations.

While this delegation and the opening of an American embassy in Cuba is an important step forward, more work remains to end more than five decades of failed policy between the U.S. and Cuba. 

Congress must act now to remove the remaining barriers to normalized relations including lifting the travel ban and ending the failed embargo. These Cold War relics must be repealed as we chart a new path forward between our two nations.”

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Lee has been working on U.S.-Cuba policy since 1977 and has traveled to the island more than 20 times, leading several Congressional delegations. Congresswoman Lee is proudly co-sponsoring the bipartisan Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (H.R. 664) to lift the travel ban and the Free Trade with Cuba Act (H.R. 403) to end the embargo.

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.