For the past 50 years, the United States’ relationship with Cuba has been one of isolation – it is clear this policy has been a failure. The voices of our policymakers must represent the voices of the overwhelming majority of Americans who favor improving our relationship with Cuba.

Minnesota is the third-largest agricultural exporter in the country, and we have a great potential to benefit from millions of new consumers right here in our own backyard. Along with the Cuban people, Americans are ready for a fresh start and new opportunities for increasing trade, advancing the cause of human rights and ushering in direly needed reforms.

We cannot limit our opportunities to improve the human rights and religious liberties of the Cuban people. While there is certainly further work that needs to be done to address human rights issues, it is not a matter of if the embargo is lifted, but a matter of when.

Expanding our markets, strengthening our national security, and improving relationships with our next-door neighbor should be a nonpartisan issue. My colleagues and I will continue to advocate for human rights and religious freedoms, a more secure hemisphere, and new economic opportunities for American farmers and businesses by improving our relationship with Cuba.

Take a look at some of my recent work on Cuba:

  • The U.S. policy of engagement with Cuba over the last 50 years has failed. That is why I introduced the Cuba Trade Act to fully lift the embargo to Cuba and try diplomacy through economic exchange.
  • The ability to travel abroad should not be abridged by our own government. That is why I introduced the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act, which would remove the unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba.
  • At 80 miles off our southern coast, Cuba is one of our closest geographical neighbors. Cuba represents a valuable opportunity for Minnesota agriculture exports. That is why I support removing restrictions on agricultural trade with Cuba.

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