Ranking Member Stabenow Applauds Opening of U.S. Embassy in Cuba

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded the opening of the first U.S. Embassy in Cuba since 1961. Stabenow visited Cuba in January 2015 as part of a congressional delegation seeking to normalize trade relations between the countries. That visit marked Stabenow’s second visit to the nation.

“Today marks a historic step forward in advancing our relationship with the Cuban people,” Stabenow said. “The commitment to democratic ideas and human rights that we share as Americans are best realized through engagement and our Embassies represent a visible reminder of those principles. We must continue moving forward with our new policy on Cuba. That includes ending the trade embargo which would create new economic opportunities for U.S. exporters and businesses. I applaud Secretary Kerry for visiting Havana and look forward to advancing our relationship with Cuba.”  

In February 2015, Stabenow joined a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introducing legislation that would lift the more than 50-year-long Cuban trade embargo. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, would allow U.S. companies to export their products to Cuba, including agricultural commodities, farm equipment, and other manufactured goods. While the legislation would permit American consumers to purchase Cuban-made products, the bill would not lift travel restrictions. Additionally, the bill would remove financial restrictions on business transactions and allow U.S. banks to extend credit to Cubans for the purchase of American farm goods, auto parts, and other consumer products.