February 18, 2016

Presidential Visit to Cuba is “Next Step in Continued Efforts to End Fifty-Plus Years of Failed Policy” Says Rep. Lee

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Cuba Working Group, released this statement on news that President Obama would travel to Cuba:

“I applaud the President for announcing this historic trip to Cuba. This trip is the next step in his continued efforts to end fifty plus years of failed U.S. policy toward Cuba.

A little more than a year ago, President Obama announced a new chapter in U.S.-Cuba relations. In the last 14 months, President Obama has achieved more through diplomatic cooperation than our nation realized through more than five decades of ineffective isolation.

President Obama has consistently lead on this issue and it’s past time for Congress to join him in writing this new chapter in U.S.-Cuba relations.  Congress must lift the travel ban and the counterproductive embargo. These policies are relics of the Cold War that infringe on the freedoms of Americans and restrict the creation of new American jobs.

As the President makes this historic trip to bring our nations closer together, we must recommit to once and for all ending more than five decades of failed policy toward Cuba.”


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 bipartisanFreedom 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. Learn more about the Congresswoman’s work by reading her nationally syndicated OpEd.

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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.