CDA STATEMENT: Trump administration announces restrictions to Cuba travel, trade in National Security Presidential Memorandum

WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s announcement today that a National Security Presidential Memorandum directs additional restrictions on trade with and travel to Cuba, Emily Mendrala, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, released the following statement:

“Reversing progress in U.S.-Cuba relations is bad for the U.S. national interest—our economy, our national security, and our standing in the region—bad for Americans, for whom free travel should be a right, and bad for Cubans on the island, who overwhelmingly support closer ties with the U.S. and many of whom are already seeing the benefits of engagement.

“The White House has failed to offer a strategic vision for its policy shift on Cuba, and for how it will bring about a ‘better deal’ by returning to a posture of isolation toward one of our closest neighbors. This new policy has no winners—not the American people, not U.S. businesses, not the Cuban people—and it appears to privilege domestic political dealings over policy and strategic goals, discarding the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and mutual benefit through engagement.

“CDA commends the bipartisan group of congressional champions of engagement and will continue to support congressional action to advance policies of engagement. Once Congress acts decisively to lift the embargo, American businesses, travelers, and the Cuban people will be spared the risk of our domestic politics threatening forward progress.

“Now, as ever, CDA will continue to bring people together, and we will redouble our work building relationships and fostering cooperation and dialogue on both sides of the aisle here in Washington, and on both sides of the Florida Straits. Talking to each other, sharing views and experiences, recognizing and overcoming differences—this is the way forward in U.S.-Cuba relations.”


Emma Stodder (202) 234-5506 ext. 2006

The Center for Democracy in the Americas, founded in 2006, has led more than 60 trips to Cuba for bipartisan delegations of Members of the U.S. Congress, trade missions for the governors of New York and Virginia, CEOs and trade associations, and leaders in philanthropy, women’s issues, and the arts, including the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. More information about CDA is available on our website.