Embargo critic to retire from U.S. Congress

Continuing a recent slew of withdrawal announcements by key pro- and anti-embargo players on Capitol Hill, Rep. Bill Delahunt said he won’t run again after the end of his current term, the Boston Globe first reported.

The seven-term Democrat from Massachusetts announced his decision Friday.

His retirement is a life decision that has “nothing to do with politics,” Delahunt, 68, told the Globe. He said he had considered retiring earlier, but the late Sen. Ted Kennedy had convinced him to stay on through the first term of President Barack Obama.

Delahunt, who has a long track record as a critic of the U.S. embargo and Radio/TV Marti, is a key backer of a House bill that would lift the travel ban against Cuba and ease agricultural sales. He traveled many times to Cuba and Venezuela.

A conservative House Republican from Ohio described Delahunt as an ardent liberal and pragmatic negotiator.

“He votes like a liberal whack job,’’ the Boston Globe quoted Rep. Steven LaTourette. “But when it comes to working together, he is the person I want to be at the head of that team.’’

In January, Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced their retirement from Congress, followed by Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fl.) in February.

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