CDA STATEMENT: Cuba Sanctions Announcement

In response to the Trump Administration’s announcements today of additional sanctions on Cuba and the decision to allow legal action in U.S. courts for “trafficking in confiscated property,” the Center for Democracy in the Americas’ executive director Emily Mendrala released the following statement:

“Today, Administration officials announced new sanctions against Cuba and the decision to implement an untested, controversial provision of the Helms-Burton Act.

“With a clear eye toward 2020, the Trump Administration made a Cuba policy statement against an overtly political backdrop in one of the most-recognized U.S. swing states.

“Our policies toward Cuba have long-been misguided, but despite that, and despite a 60 year record of failure, this administration is doubling down on isolation and, in so doing, causing great pain to the people of Cuba. Today’s announcement constitutes more of the same, expecting a different approach.

“The polls are clear: Americans want to travel to Cuba, they want to explore business opportunities, and they want to do so without fear of retribution from their government. What’s more, Americans are excellent ambassadors for democratic values.

“It’s clear that sanctions on Cuba disadvantage U.S. businesses, jeopardize our bilateral national security cooperation, and hurt the Cuban private sector.

“Capping remittances is mean-spirited, and can only be understood as the U.S. government’s attempt to create economic hardship among the Cuban people.

“Enacting Title III will not resolve the issue of property claims in Cuba; it will make the matter worse. Claimants will struggle to receive judgments from cases filed in U.S. courts, and the measure will complicate future diplomatic discussions.

“Ambassador Bolton’s speech conflated Cuba with Venezuela, and he announced a policy approach that does the same. The two countries are different, living through very different moments, and to exploit events in Venezuela to settle Cold War scores with Cuba is a distraction from real needs in Venezuela.

“At a time when the U.S. deeply values multilateralism in Venezuela, it’s hard to understand why it would threaten to alienate foreign partners like Spain and Canada with its Cuba policy, especially with such slim prospects of achieving the stated goals.”

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See CDA’s summary of U.S. policy changes under the Trump Administration, linked here.

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