02/05/03 - Press Release - Senate Initiative
Finally, some good news for a change: two Senators have introduced a bill to
end the embargo on Cuba! And more good news: You can make four
quick-and-easy POSITIVE phone calls today that will help move the U.S.
toward normalized relations with Cuba:
· Call to THANK Senators Max Baucus and Chuck Hagel for taking the lead on
Cuba policy by sponsoring win-win legislation that is good for American
farmers, businesses, and travelers, and good for Cuban citizens.
Senator Hagel (R-Nebraska): 202-224-4224 or 308-236-7602
Senator Baucus (D-Montana): 202-224-2651 or 406-657-6790
· Call your OWN Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the United States-Cuba
Trade Act of 2003. You can reach your Senators through the Capitol
Switchboard: 202-224-3121. Ask them to contact Timothy Punke (224-4677) with
Senator Baucus or Dayna Cade (224-5804) with Senator Hagel.
· Take a look at the attached Dear Colleague letter from Senators Hagel
and Baucus. You can also read the actual bill at www.cubacentral.com.
SUPPORT AMERICAN EXPORTS TO CUBA - AND HELP AMERICAN FARMERS, WORKERS, AND
Senators Baucus and Hagel will soon introduce the "United States-Cuba Trade
Act of 2003." This legislation creates a "win-win" for American farmers and
business and for Cuban citizens by:
· lifting the trade embargo on Cuba;
· removing Cuba from Jackson-Vanik treatment and providing Cuba with normal
trade relations status on a permanent basis; and
· repealing travel restrictions to Cuba.
Trading with and traveling to Cuba does not represent an endorsement of the
Castro regime. To the contrary, it helps ensure that children in Cuba will
be afforded more opportunity than their parents to have lives that are more
full, free and just by opening Cuban society to democratic ideals.
The unilateral sanctions that we have had in place since 1962 have been
ineffective in bringing about change in Cuba. Since other countries,
including Canada, Mexico, Japan, the EU, and all countries in South and
Central America currently trade with Cuba, U.S. policy puts our farmers,
workers and companies at a competitive disadvantage. By some estimates, we
are missing out on an export market of nearly $1 billion per year.
For 40 years, we have denied U.S. citizens and businesses the ability to
make inroads into Cuba - inroads that are vital if we are ever to work with
the Cuban people to bring about real and lasting reform. We should seek to
influence change from within this repressive society by developing a
relationship with the Cuban people - one that we expect over time will
encourage the peaceful transition to democracy and a market-oriented economy
in the post-Castro era. Using trade, engagement and economic incentives to
affect change are tried and true pillars of U.S. foreign policy, as we are
doing with China and Vietnam. Now is the time to do the same with our
neighbors to the south.
Please contact Timothy Punke (4.4677) with Senator Baucus or Dayna Cade
(4.5804) with Senator Hagel if you are interested in co-sponsoring this
Max Baucus Chuck Hagel
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