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Metro Brief: Norton supports normalization of relations with Cuba

District of Columbia

On January 5, 2015

On December 18, the Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released Norton’s statement on the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba:

“President Obama’s opening of official relations with Cuba may not be Nixon going to China, but it is today’s version of what we needed to do to begin to bring U.S.-Cuba relations into the realities of the 21st-century.

“In this case, the exchanges involved were significant, particularly with the release of Alan Gross, a U.S. international development worker who was held for five years for bringing telecommunications equipment to members of Cuba’s Jewish community. Ironically, his release is leading to this very result for the Cuban people. 

“The agreement to permit communications devices and telecommunications service into Cuba could be the most important development for bringing more democracy to Cubans. Isolating Cuba has only reinforced the Castro brothers’ monopoly on the ability of the Cuban people to compare themselves with people in other countries. Once exposed to real freedom on the Internet, it will be difficult for Castro’s old Cuba to remain intact.

“Cuba may be allowing this opening now because its economy has all but collapsed and it no longer has reliable allies to prop it up. The Administration’s action does not lift the embargo. However, if Republicans listen to the positive reaction from the United States Chamber of Commerce and American businesses, they will follow suit and lift the embargo.”

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