CUBA STANDARD — Apparently fearing sanctions-easing steps by the president, 17 members of the U.S. Congress, most of them Democrats, sent an open letter to Barack Obama, asking him to reaffirm his support for the U.S. embargo against Cuba.
Pro-normalization activists expect Obama, during the waning months of his second and last term, to take executive action that would relieve some of the pressure on Cuba.
“As you know, the embargo against the Castro dictatorship is codified in U.S. law, and cannot be lifted without an act of Congress,” the letter writers, led by Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said.
The letter concludes: “We hope that you will affirm to us, in no uncertain terms, that you remain committed to longstanding U.S. policy which supports the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom while denying the pretense of legitimacy, and access to dollars, to their oppressors.”
Signatories include all Cuban American House Members, including Joe Garcia, a Miami Democrat who ran a campaign on unrestricted family travel to Cuba, against a harder-line Cuban American. Other signatories include Reps. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), William Keating (D-MA) and Lois Frankel (D-FL).