Engage Cuba Statement On News that Trump Will Reveal Cuba Policy in Miami Next Friday

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President of Engage Cuba, James Williams released the following statement regarding the announcement that President Trump will reveal U.S.-Cuba policy in Miami next Friday: 

"If President Trump wants a "better deal" for the Cuban people, it would be a shame if he rolls back our policy before he even comes to the table. If the President is willing to negotiate with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and the Philippines, why not Cuba?

"Our new Cuba policy has boosted the economy, created American jobs, strengthened U.S. national security and empowered the Cuban people. Tightening these restrictions would hurt the Cuban people and add new job-killing regulations on U.S. companies, the opposite of President Trump's 'America First' agenda.

"We're hopeful that a dramatic campaign style event in Miami is more of a symbolic gesture to appease two Cuban American Members of Congress, rather than an unveiling of substantive changes to policies that are supported by a bipartisan majority of Congress and the American people.

"Imposing new regulations on travel to and trade with Cuba would be bad politics, bad policy, and bad for U.S. business."

This announcement follows on reports that the U.S.-Cuba policy review has been largely influenced by legislative horse trading unrelated to Cuba policy between two members of Congress, as opposed to the merits of the review, during which almost every agency expressed support for engagement. 

Today, seven Republican Congressmen sent a letter urging President Trump to continue to engage Cuba for the sake of U.S. national security. The Republican members noted that ties between Russia and Moscow have been increasing at an alarming rate, and reversing course with Cuba would allow Russia to move into our backyard. Additionally, three Republican Senators sent a letter to the Trump Administration saying that recent reforms to Cuba policy have helped the U.S. economy and the Cuban people. 

On June 1, Engage Cuba released a report estimating that a reversal of Cuba policies would cost the U.S. economy $6.6 billion and affect 12,295 American jobs over the course of the first term of the Trump Administration. Obama Administration policies to loosen regulations on U.S. companies interested in doing business in Cuba have contributed to significant economic growth and job creation throughout the country.

On May 25, U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) led a bipartisan group of 55 Senators in reintroducing the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act, legislation that would eliminate current restrictions on traveling to Cuba for tourist purposes.

In September, Florida International University released a poll showing that 63% of Cuban-Americans in Miami Dade County support fully lifting the embargo. More information on U.S.-Cuba policy polling is available here