Our policy toward Cuba has failed. More than four decades of a unilateral embargo and persistently hostile and aggressive rhetoric and actions from successive administrations have created only misery for the Cuban people and have hurt, not helped, U.S. interests at large.
Common sense dictates that we pursue a policy of normalizing relations with Cuba. We need to work for repeal of the Helms-Burton Act and the immediate lifting of the trade embargo. We must lift not only the trade embargo. We must also lift the travel ban. We must cooperate with Cuba on issues of national security.
It is time to create a new era in Cuban-American relations.
Here are several steps to restoring a more humane and effective policy toward this important neighbor:
1. Support normal bilateral trade with Cuba. Farm communities throughout the U.S. are being denied a natural market in Cuba, and Americans are being denied products from Cuba.
2. Restore Americans' freedom to travel to Cuba. Our government's travel ban violates the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement.
3. Work to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act, which has encouraged smuggling and put lives at risk -- and has reinforced arbitrary and unequal immigration policies.
4. Support increased national security cooperation with Cuba.