Washington, DC- The Cuba Study Group today released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the historic shift in relations between the United States and Cuba:

“On this first anniversary of the announcement of the historic shift in relations between the United States and Cuba, we celebrate the courage of those who have chosen engagement over isolation and reconciliation over confrontation as the best way forward for both nations. 

“While we know that the process of normalization will be slow and gradual, there is already ample evidence of the benefits of engagement in advancing U.S. interests and the interests of the Cuban people. The progress already made on environmental protection, civil aviation, direct mail service, law enforcement cooperation and other areas is proof of what can be achieved when our governments engage in dialogue. 

“And while we would like to see greater and faster progress on both sides, the half a million trips by U.S. travelers to the island, the billions sent in remittances and the hundreds of thousands of private entrepreneurs on the island and expanding internet connectivity are evidence of the significant changes that have taken place. 

“One year later, there is significant progress that still needs to be made. Important legal obstacles still exist in both countries and replacing decades of distrust and confrontation will take time. The U.S. embargo continues to represent the main obstacle to continued engagement with Cuba, and the U.S. Congress must act to do away with this failed and ineffective policy which disproportionately hurts the Cuban people. At the same time, the slow pace and limited nature of reforms in Cuba continues to stunt the potential of individual Cubans and of the Cuban economy. 

“As we look forward to this crucial next year, we encourage the governments and peoples of both nations to continue to work together to find ways to build a more productive and beneficial future between our countries“

The Cuba Study Group has long advocated for the lifting of U.S. sanctions as well as reforms within Cuba that better position civil society to contribute to the development of Cuba in an environment where individuals are free to realize their full potential.

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