WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
20 Jun 2016 | News

Financial Services Appropriations Bill Shows Support for U.S.-Cuba Policy Shift

Today the House version of the Financial Services bill will include amendments that would ease the Cuba embargo. WOLA supports these amendments and we urge you to contact your Member of Congress today.

The Crawford amendment, co-sponsored by Reps. Poe (R-TX), Abraham (R-LA), Cramer (R-ND), Farr (D-CA), and Bustos (D-IL) would make agricultural sales to Cuba easier by allowing private credit for sales. This will make it easier and cheaper for Cubans to by basic food and open up new sales for American farmers.

The Sanford amendment, co-sponsored Reps. Emmer (R-MN), McGovern (D-MA), Castor (D-FL), and Lee (D-CA). would end funding that restricts travel to Cuba, so that all Americans could travel there freely, as they can to every other country. U.S. travelers will help grow the Cuban private sector.

The sponsors have submitted the amendments to the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee will meet on the night of Tuesday, June 21, and if the amendments are ruled in order, they will be considered when the bill comes up on the floor on Wednesday and Thursday (June 22 and 23).

This is an important opportunity to show that there is broad support for measures to end the embargo on Cuba. There are several dozen Republicans in the House who support extending private credit for agricultural sales and similar numbers who support ending the ban on travel. Most House Democrats support these measures.

Both amendments have bipartisan support and reflect the will of the American people to see change in U.S. policy. A Pew poll found 72 percent of Americans support ending the trade embargo on Cuba, and according to a CBS poll, 81 percent of Americans support ending the travel ban.

Please contact your Member of Congress today! Tell him or her that you support ending the embargo on Cuba, and urge him or her to support the Crawford amendment to permit private financing for agricultural sales to Cuba, and the Sanford amendment to allow unrestricted travel to Cuba, as part of the Financial Service Appropriations bill.