Informacion economica sobre Cuba

The Next Steps on Cuba: Rep. Barbara Lee Pushes for End to Embargo & U.S
Travel Restrictions
Jun 02, 2015 | STORY

As the United States prepares to reopen its embassy in Havana, we speak
to Rep. Barbara Lee, who has been rumored to be a frontrunner to become
U.S. ambassador to Cuba. Lee has traveled to Cuba over 20 times since
the 1970s and has co-sponsored the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act and
Free Trade with Cuba Act.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Congressmember Lee, speaking of issues that people have
worked hard on, you have worked extremely hard on changing the U.S.
relationship with Cuba. The embassies are about to open—U.S. Embassy in
Havana, Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. It has been talked about that
you were interested in being the U.S. ambassador to Cuba, the first one,
right now in this new era. Would you accept that position if President
Obama nominated you?

REP. BARBARA LEE: No, let me tell you what happened. There was an
article in the Matier/Ross column. They wrote in the San Francisco
Chronicle some gossip, I guess, a rumor or—I don’t know where they got
this from. They said that I had a gentlewoman’s agreement with the
president that I would be the first ambassador to Cuba. That is just not
the case. That is not true.

I represent some great constituents in the 13th Congressional District.
There’s a lot of work to do in Congress. And so I intend to continue
working to represent my constituency in Congress and continue to try to
help lift this embargo, because, you know, that’s going to take
legislative action, as well as lifting the travel ban. The president has
come a long way and done everything he can do. I’ve been to Cuba over 20
times, beginning in the ’70s. I think ’76, ’77. And I’ve worked very
hard to get us to this point, with other members. But we’ve been doing
this for many, many years. And so, now this is a sea change, once again.
But I—these rumors, you know how they get started. And, you know, I
intend to stay here in Congress and continue to work to represent my
constituents, which, I have to—

AMY GOODMAN: You may not have—

REP. BARBARA LEE: —I have to say, is the most progressive and
enlightened and diverse constituency in the country.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Lee, you may not have an agreement, but
would you like to be the ambassador?

REP. BARBARA LEE: Being an ambassador to Cuba is, I think, a great
position, if you’re about ready to retire from Congress. I’m not about
ready to retire from Congress. I want to continue to work to lift this
embargo and to ensure that the travel ban is lifted. I want to continue
representing the greatest district in the country.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain the legislation that you think needs to
happen with the president’s diplomatic initiatives on Cuba? As you said,
he can only go so far. What has to pass in Congress, and what are you
pushing for now for normalizing relations with Cuba?

REP. BARBARA LEE: Well, there are two bills. One would lift the travel
ban. Now, you know, you have to have a license. It’s a general license,
that really, though, is specific in terms of who can travel to Cuba. But
under this administration, they have really made it a little broader and
much more flexible in terms of traveling. But you cannot go to Cuba as a
tourist. And so, we have legislation that would allow just normal travel
relations, like we can travel to China, to Vietnam. Americans have the
right to travel to Cuba. And so, we have to have a law, though, that
says that, which is really unfortunate. But there’s legislation we’re
trying to get passed that would do just that. I’m co-sponsoring that
legislation with a Republican member of Congress, Congressman Sanford,
to try to get a bipartisan consensus to get this legislation passed.

Secondly, just in terms of normal trade relations, to be able to do
business. Currently, under the recent executive orders and prior
executive orders, there are some industries that can do business in
Cuba. For instance, we can sell medicine and agricultural products to
Cuba. But normal trade relations just don’t exist. There’s an embargo.
And so, we have to pass legislation that would lift the sanctions and
lift the embargo against Cuba, so that we can engage in normal financial
and trade transactions. And let me just say, Amy, once that is done,
there have been enough businesses, the Chamber of Commerces, all—many
economic organizations have shown that we would create economic growth
in this country, as well as create jobs in America, if in fact we had
normal trade relations with Cuba. And so, there are two bills—there’s a
bill that would actually do just that, that Congressman Charlie Rangel
is leading on, and I’m a co-sponsor of that.

And so, I hope the people listening to this interview would call their
members of Congress and tell them to—tell their members to sign on as
co-sponsors, and let’s get these bills passed so that we can have just
normal trade and diplomatic relations between the United States and
Cuba. It’s to the benefit of the Cuban people and the American people.

Source: The Next Steps on Cuba: Rep. Barbara Lee Pushes for End to
Embargo & U.S Travel Restrictions | Democracy Now! –

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