Washington, D.C. — Following President Barack Obama’s announcement of a new diplomatic approach to relations with the Cuban government, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden issued the following remarks:
President Obama should be commended for placing U.S. national interests above tired political arguments of the past in charting a new course for U.S. policy toward Cuba. After more than 50 years of futility, it is clear that the U.S. approach to Cuba has failed to help foster democracy. A new approach, one that values diplomatic engagement, as well as the empowerment of Cuban civil society, is the right way to go. Principled engagement by the United States should also open the path to more voices standing up across the Americas and in the international community to defend the basic human rights of the Cuban people.
Today’s long-overdue return of Alan Gross to his family and friends is also most welcome. That more than 50 Cuban political prisoners are similarly being reunited with their families underscores the diplomatic successes at the heart of today’s announcements.
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