PRESS RELEASE: CDA urges Trump administration to heed calls for engagement with Cuba

WASHINGTON – In anticipation of the Trump administration’s announcement on Cuba policy on June 16, Emily Mendrala, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, released the following statement:

“A rollback of recent progress in U.S.-Cuba relations would be out of step with the views of the majority of the American public—both Republican and Democrat—and would threaten the significant gains reaped by the American people and the Cuban people since the restoration of U.S.-Cuba ties.

“In the last two years, across many negotiating tables, the U.S. and Cuba have made remarkable progress in areas of mutual interest, ranging from law-enforcement information sharing to the fight against cancer. Closer ties have helped U.S. travelers support Cuba’s nascent private sector and allowed scientists to collaborate on protecting our shared marine ecosystem. President Trump has the opportunity to build on this progress and, in so doing, advance the U.S. national interest and the interests of the Cuban people. As the President well knows, you can’t get a ‘better deal’ by walking away from the negotiating table.

“To reverse course would threaten our national security, damage American businesses that are already working in Cuba, discount the rights of U.S. travelers, and hurt the Cuban people, especially entrepreneurs whose businesses are thriving because of increased travel and contacts with the U.S.

“I urge the President to consider the transformations underway in Cuba that are engaging Cubans in a search for a better future in their country, and to heed the calls of U.S. industry, American farmers, young Cuban Americans, U.S. security and human rights experts, Cuban entrepreneurs, and experts in his own administration, to continue normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations.”


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.

Emma Stodder (202) 234-5506 ext. 2006