Rep. Takano Statement on Congressional Delegation to Cuba

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released the following statement today after returning from a congressional delegation to Cuba. 

“Meeting with local entrepreneurs, activists, and government officials in Cuba was an informative and meaningful experience. While my visit focused on questions regarding the country’s embrace of the LGBT community, it also gave me a chance to assess the impact of the Trump administration’s recent actions on our embassy personnel and the people of Cuba. 

“Despite the recent troubling and mysterious events, direct engagement remains the most effective tool for bringing positive change to Cuba. The improving situation for the country’s LGBT population is a sign that such progress is possible. I am concerned that the Administration’s heated rhetoric and hasty actions will do lasting damage to the Cuban people, and further entrench the most hardline elements of the current regime. 

“By drawing down the number of American foreign service officers in Cuba, expelling Cuban diplomats from America, and accusing the Cuban government of harming American visitors without providing any evidence to that effect, the president is hurting entrepreneurs in Cuba’s growing private sector, as well as Americans with Cuban relatives, and American businesses with investments on the island.  

“The people of Cuba are changing Cuba, and the question for the United States is whether we will be a partner in that change or an obstacle in its path. I hope that President Trump will reverse his recent decisions and return to policies that will support the burgeoning private economy in Cuba and help its people move toward a more democratic and free society.”

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