Announcement Date: February 24, 2016
From February 12-16, 2016, the Center for Democracy in the Americas led a fact-finding trip for a bipartisan congressional delegation to Havana, Cuba. U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (FL-14) and Tom Emmer (MN-6) led the group, which included Reps. John Garamendi (CA-3), Paul Gosar (AZ-4), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Mike Bishop (MI-8), and Brendan Boyle (PA-13). As is CDA’s custom, we arranged for them to meet a wide array of Cubans – senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, and the Cuban telecommunications authority; Cuba’s Catholic Church; private sector operators of a restaurant, baby clothes, and taxi businesses, visual artists in Havana and hip-hop artists in Regla. The group also visited the Port of Mariel and met with U.S. and third-country diplomats serving on the island. By their account, the delegation returned to the United States with a broader appreciation of the Cuban reality.