CDA IN THE NEWS: Interview: CDA’s new executive director on the future of US-Cuba relations

CDA Executive Director Emily Mendrala was featured in an interview with Nick Swyter of Cuba Trade Magazine. The full article can be accessed here. For a brief excerpt, see below.

Why did you take the job as director of CDA?

This is an exciting time for Cuba policy! My professional background and experiences made me well-placed to lead an organization like CDA, with its mission to work with U.S. Congress, U.S. businesses, and U.S. civic groups and educate them about Cuba and the impact of U.S. policy on the island.

What can the U.S. and Cuba do to immediately improve relations?

I think in the short-term we need to preserve the gains that have come in recent years. We need to continue to advance legislation and efforts to lift the embargo and the travel ban. We have tremendous champions in the House such as Reps. Emmer and Castor. Ten of the 21 cosponsors of Emmer’s bill to lift the trade embargo have attended CDA-sponsored trips to Cuba. On the Senate side, we have long-standing champions in Sens. Leahy and Flake. And there is growing bipartisan support for policies and legislation to continue to advance engagement. And I think continuing the bilateral engagement between our two governments, continuing to put in the mechanisms of a normal bilateral relationship like law enforcement information sharing, for example, will continue to bring us together. It will continue to promote the recognition that engagement is not only in our best economic interest, but also in our national security interest.

 What are the long-term goals?

As far as the long-term goals of CDA, I’ll say that it’s simply to continue to lay the groundwork for a post-normalization relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.

Read more here.