Cuba Policy Ineffective, Says US Senator

HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 21 — A report issued by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind) states what a growing number of US legislators have come to conclude: US policy towards Cuba has proven ineffective and should be reevaluated.

The senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee informed his fellow senators that bilateral cooperation would be advantageous in areas such as fighting drug trafficking and illegal immigration. The senator also believes that Cuba should be able to purchase farm products from the United States under more normal conditions with credit.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that a review of Cuba policy will be taking place but has not mentioned when.

Bogged down in dealing with the country’s financial crisis, nothing new has come from the administration beyond the expectation that Obama will keep his campaign promise to make it easier to travel to Cuba only for Cuban-Americans and for them to send money to their relatives.

The administration has not commented on a bipartisan bill (H.R.874) submitted to the House of Representatives early in February that would take the travel ban off all US citizens wishing to travel to Cuba.

Cuba and the US maintain low-level diplomatic ties via Interests Sections in Havana and Washington established during the Carter administration.

Ties between past US governments and the right-wing Cuban exile groups based in Florida —who make sizeable contributions to both the Republican and Democratic Parties— have to date been a leading factor in shaping United States’ policy towards the neighboring island.