Announcement Date: June 5, 2016
From June 1 to 5, the Center for Democracy in the Americas led a fact-finding trip to Havana for a bi-partisan delegation comprised of 10 senior U.S. Senate staffers. Members of this bipartisan delegation work for Senators from seven U.S. states, Majority and Minority members of the Senate’s leadership, and for members of powerful committees including Foreign Relations and Finance. CDA arranged for them to meet with senior officials of Cuba’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Investment; leading researchers at Cuba’s Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology; a former representative of the Catholic Archdiocese; artists, economists, and journalists; and, several private entrepreneurs including operators of a salon, a clothing business, a car restoration and taxi business, and a bicycle repair shop. The group also visited an urban organic farm and met with U.S. and third-country diplomats serving on the island. It was a privilege for us to organize this trip so that an influential, bipartisan delegation of Senate staff members could see Cuba for themselves, and better understand the consequences of U.S. policy, especially as it affects the Cuban people.