*WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, released the following statement after President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba have reached an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals after more than 50 years:
“Today President Obama announced that the United States and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in each other’s capitals and reestablish diplomatic relations. This is another momentous step in the normalization of relations between our two great nations. I applaud the President for his effort in ushering in a new area of diplomatic relations with our neighbors in the Caribbean, and I applaud all those Members of Congress who worked tireless to open up diplomatic relations and end the embargo.
As a long-time advocate of improved relations with Cuba, who has traveled to the island several times; witnessed the desire of many Cubans to improve relations with the United States; and visited their schools, hospitals, and university; I believe that working together will be beneficial to both Cuba and the United States, and I stand with the President in recognizing the importance of this new approach towards Cuba. While reopening our embassy in Havana is a symbolic and profound step, we must not let all the progress we’ve made stop here.
We as a Congress must now take the next step by ending the embargo on Cuba. Allowing expanded commercial activity with Cuba will enhance U.S. national security, create opportunities for American businesses and workers, and provide goods and services that will improve the living standards of the Cuban people. It will also further advance the ease with which our two great nations can tackle pressing issues such as migration, human trafficking, counter-narcotics, family reunification, and human rights.
Once again I congratulate the President and I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues to continue to develop our nation’s relationship with Cuba.”
Senior Legislative Assistant
Rep. Maxine Waters