Washington, D.C. - The Cuba Study Group and 17 other organizations and individuals today released a letter addressed to the incoming Trump administration. The document urges the president-elect to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of progress made in U.S.-Cuba relations, believing that such an analysis would confirm that constructive engagement is the best strategy for supporting the Cuban people and boosting U.S. jobs and exports.

The letter highlights many of the gains already derived from engaging with the Cuban government, including employing thousands of U.S. workers, allowing Cuban-Americans to directly support their Cuban relatives on the island, providing critical funding for the country’s nascent private sector, and granting the Cuban population greater access to information via the internet. The document also postulates that disengagement could expose the U.S. to unnecessary risks to its national security, border security, and interest in protecting the human rights of Cuban citizens. Moreover, it would destroy the good will given by the global community, especially in Latin America, for U.S. efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. Lastly, the memo states that engagement would provide additional advantages as the U.S. seeks the resolution of nearly 6,000 certified claim for expropriated property, as well as when President Raúl Castro relinquishes power in 2018.

The letter was co-signed by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas; U.S.-Cuba Business Council; The Center for Democracy in the Americas; Ted Piccone (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution); Richard E. Feinberg, Professor (UC San Diego and Senior Fellow [non-resident], The Brookings Institution); William M. Leogrande (Professor of Government, American University); Engage Cuba; Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA); Latin America Working Group; National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC); Christopher Sabatini (Executive Director, Global Americans and Lecturer, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs); The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA); National Tour Association (NTA); United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA); TechFreedom; NAFSA: Association of International Educators; and The American Society of Travel Agents.

The letter can be found at the following link: http://www.cubastudygroup.org/index.cfm?p=memo-to-president-trump-and-his-incoming-administration-u-s-policy-toward-cuba-the-case-for-engagement

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