New Cuba Policies Reward Undeserving Regime (Rep. Albio Sires)

Yesterday, President Obama unilaterally lifted several sanctions on Cuba, removing significant pressures on the regime and instead rewarding a regime with a horrendous human rights record that has shown no signs of change.  Under the new policies, Cuban-Americans are allowed unlimited travel to visit relatives in Cuba and allowed to send unlimited remittances.  The changes also aim to expand telecommunications capabilities in Cuba and between Cuba and the United States.  Unfortunately, the Cuban regime would have to allow this increased access, and as we have seen with the treatment of the internet in China, access to telecommunications does not guarantee free access to information.  The Cuban regime has not shown any openness or offered anything in return for these concessions.  Under these policies, the United States gains nothing, and the Cuban people receive no reprieve from the oppressive regime.  As someone born in Cuba, I understand the strong emotional and familial ties to the country, but increasing travel and remittances to the island will only further support the undemocratic regime the has torn the Cuban people apart.  The Cuban regime has one of the worst human rights records in the world.  It currently holds hundreds of political activists behind bars and continually denies basic human rights to people throughout the island.  The United States is offering the regime concessions while the atrocious status quo carries on in Cuba.   I believe these new policies do not bring us any closer to a democratic Cuba.