Republicans send letters to administration urging Cuba remain open
By SERENA MARSHALL
Jun 9, 2017, 6:11 PM ET
Two groups of pro-Cuba engagement House and Senate Republicans each sent
letters to President Donald Trump and members of his administration,
respectively, asking for Cuba to remain open in the wake of reports the
administration is leaning toward reversing its policy on the island nation.
The National Security Council met Friday to finalize their policy and
recommendations for the Principals Committee and then provide those
recommendations to the president on Cuba, according to multiple sources
briefed on the matter. ABC News has confirmed that Trump will likely
announce policy changes in Miami next Friday.
In the letter from the House group, seven Republicans write to Trump
that "Reversing course would incentivize Cuba to once again become
dependent on countries like Russia and China. Allowing this to happen
could have disastrous results for the security of the United States."
The representatives also argue that reversing the re-normalization of
U.S. relations with Cuba would "threaten" the efforts to combat human
trafficking, illicit drug trade, cybercrime and fraud identification.
The Republican congressmen that signed the letter include Reps. Tom
Emmer of Minnesota, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Ted Poe of Texas, Darin
LaHood of Illinois, Roger Marshall of Kansas, James Comer of Kentucky
and Jack Bergman of Michigan.
The Senate letter, written by Sens. John Boozman, R-Arkansas; Mike Enzi,
R-Wyoming; and Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, to Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster cites the growth
in Cuban entrepreneurs, expanded opportunity for U.S. businesses and the
national security benefit of preventing the island nation from becoming
"a client state of nations that view US interests as counter to their own."
"We strongly urge you to weigh carefully any rollback of policies that
would endanger these benefits," the letter reads.
A U.S. official said that a rollout is likely next week, but cautioned
that the details are still being finalized and the date could be pushed
President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro initiated the
process in 2014 of opening Cuba, overturning decades of diplomatic
hostility, economic and business restrictions, and constraints on travel.
Source: Republicans send letters to administration urging Cuba remain