Report cites benefits of changing US Cuba policy

Campaign News | Friday, 5 December 2008

A report released today calls for President-elect Barack Obama and Congress to signal a new direction in the foreign policy of the United States by changing policy towards Cuba. "The Case for a New Cuba Policy," written by Jake Colvin, Vice President of Global Affairs for the National Foreign Trade Council and a Fellow with the New Ideas Fund, notes that, "While issues such as the global economic crisis and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will take months, years, or even decades to resolve, President-elect Obama has the opportunity to send an immediate signal of change to the world through a new approach to Cuba policy."

The report highlights a national security benefit from changing policy, observing that the Bush administration has increased the burden on key government agencies responsible for keeping the United States safe from terrorism through its directives related to the Cuba sanctions program. Reversing those policies, and establishing risk-based priorities for allocating scarce resources, would allow the U.S. government to refocus its attention on the most serious threats to national security.

Colvin also suggests there is a changing political landscape that makes a different approach to Cuba "an increasingly smart political strategy," given the attitudes of new Cuban American voters as well as the growing number of non-Cuban Hispanic voters in Florida.

"This paper provides a roadmap for the Obama Administration to fundamentally reform the United States' failed policy of isolating Cuba. Jake makes a compelling case that engaging Cuba will provide humanitarian, economic and security benefits and will demonstrate to the international community that President Obama is committed to a policy of constructive engagement," said Cal Dooley, a former Member of Congress from California.

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