80 Democrats urge Biden to repeal Trump’s sanctions on Cuba

TEHRAN, Mar. 04 (MNA) – In a letter to Biden, 80 US House of Representatives Democrats urged him to repeal Donald Trump’s "cruel” sanctions on Cuba.

In a letter to Biden seen by Reuters, they urged the Democratic president to sign an executive order “without delay” to end restrictions on travel and remittances, noting that well over half of Cubans depend on the latter.

“With the stroke of a pen, you can assist struggling Cuban families and promote a more constructive approach,” they said.

The letter was led by lawmakers Bobby Rush, Gwen Moore, Barbara Lee, and Steve Cohen, long-time supporters of engagement with Cuba. Signers also included the leaders of the influential House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and Appropriations committees.

Biden, a Democrat, vowed during his campaign to reverse policy shifts by the Republican Trump that “have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.”

Trump’s tightening of the decades-old US trade embargo on Cuba has contributed to worsening shortages of food and medicine.

But Biden has not yet indicated whether he will fully revert to the historic detente initiated by Democratic former President Barack Obama when Biden was vice president.

“This letter, signed by a number of key powerbrokers in the House of Representatives, will help empower the US foreign policy officials in the Biden administration who seek to rebuild what Trump destroyed - a constructive, productive and civil approach toward Cuba and its people,” said Peter Kornbluh, co-author of “Back Channel to Cuba” and senior analyst at the National Security Archive.

The Trump administration took more than 200 initiatives to tighten the decades-old US trade embargo on Cuba over four years, citing concerns about a lack of democracy and Havana’s support for Venezuela’s socialist government.

Critics said Trump’s approach did not address such concerns and was more likely aimed at winning over voters in the swing state of Florida, which has a large Cuban-American population, and did back Trump in the Nov. 3 election.

HJ/PR

News Code 170652

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