WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, responded with the following statement to the Treasury Department’s new regulations reinstating travel restrictions and barring many transactions by American citizens in Cuba.
“As President Trump continues down the path of retreating from U.S. global leadership, today’s announcement marks another step backwards. In limiting the rights of American citizens to travel to Cuba and curtailing opportunities for U.S. businesses, the Administration is undercutting U.S. ability to encourage the political and economic change that the Cuban people want for their country.
“If the President was serious about advancing American values, he would reverse his proposed funding cuts for human rights and democracy programs, and recommit to a strategy that prioritizes principled engagement with Cuba through diplomacy, our citizens, and the U.S. private sector.
“Rather than developing a byzantine list of prohibited entities that even seeks to micromanage where Americans can eat or buy souvenirs in Old Havana, the Administration should take steps to make it easier for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba and make a positive contribution to empowering Cuban citizens. It is far past time for the Senate to advance broadly supported bipartisan legislation that lifts restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba.
“Finally, at a time when the U.S. Government is dealing with the sensitive investigation into attacks against U.S. personnel in Cuba, I am concerned that today’s announcement will only stoke diplomatic tensions and complicate our ability to thoroughly investigate of these incidents.”