December 16, 2014

Congresswoman Lee and More Than 35 Other Members of Congress Call for U.S. Participation in Summit of the Americas and Engagement with Cuba

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and more than 35 other Members of Congress wrote to President Obama to encourage U.S. participation in the 7th Summit of the Americas and to change current U.S. policy toward Cuba.”

On the value of the summit, the letter reads: “the U.S. will have the rare opportunity to engage diplomatically with all of Latin America on our shared regional challenges.”

“Regional diplomatic summits, like the Summit of the Americas, are critical to advancing our regional economic, national security and democracy promotion goals,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Summit participation sends a strong message that democracy, human rights and a strong civil society are key shared values of our hemisphere.”

Cuba is expected to participate in the summit and the signers believe that the summit provides an opportunity to “take action towards fundamental changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba.”

“For more than five decades, U.S. policy towards Cuba has been an unpopular failure,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Yet, this policy has continued at great cost to our economy, the personal freedoms of Americans and our democracy promotion goals.”

“The Summit of the Americas has the opportunity to be a turning point in Western Hemisphere geopolitics; I hope the Administration seizes this opportunity to start ending fifty plus years of failed policy,” added Congresswoman Lee.

Read the letter here.


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.