Ahead of the expected passage today by Congress of the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill, James Williams, President of Engage Cuba, issued the following statement:
“After celebrating the one-year anniversary of renewed U.S.-Cuba engagement, the big story of 2015 is how U.S.-Cuba relations grew from a presidential executive order to a truly bipartisan congressional movement. Engage Cuba successfully worked hard to prevent any rear-guard riders in the omnibus that would slow the momentum of normalization with Cuba that is now underway.
“This year, we've seen Republicans introduce Cuba related bills in both the House and the Senate that touch on everything from travel to agriculture to telecom to the complete lifting of the trade embargo. We celebrated the Senate Appropriations amendments in July that supported lifting onerous and outdated policies that have been crippling American competition for Cuba’s emerging market. With the expected passage of the omnibus that included none of the eight negative riders, we have seen that those opposed to renewed normalization between the United States and Cuba are simply beating an old drum that will do little to slow down the growing support among American voters across the country.
“With wide support on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress, we look forward to the new year and increased support to open trade and travel between the U.S. and Cuba.”