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Eddie J.
Democrat TX 30

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  • United States-Cuban Relations

    by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson

    Posted on 2015-01-07

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    JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlelady very much.

    I rise in support of President Obama's recent announcement that updates our diplomatic policy approach to Cuba. I am very pleased to see that our outdated approach to U.S.-Cuban relations will end and we will begin to normalize our relationship with Cuba. Not only does the Obama administration's announcement reestablish positive diplomatic ties with Cuba, it also helps to empower the Cuban people by updating travel restrictions, remittance policies, and quality of life.

    One of the most positive outcomes of the updated policy announcement is the lifting of many trade restrictions between the United States and Cuba. In my home State of Texas, the Texas Farm Bureau has long supported improved trade policies with Cuba because of the potential to export Texas farm products. This provision not only serves the U.S. economy positively, but it is also very meaningful to the Cuban policy, which has struggled tremendously in the past.

    While trade provisions and helping to improve the livelihood of Cuban people by allowing the Cuban economy to build are constructive measures, we must focus on additional viable resources Cuba could provide to the United States. For instance, with the opening of diplomatic ties, I sincerely hope that our State medical boards in the United States will consider the educational value that Cuban medical schools provide to future health professionals who wish to practice medicine in the United States. I have had students from my district attend medical school in Cuba. I am aware that Cuba has offered nurses and physicians around the world in needy countries where needed.

    The aforementioned examples are only a few of the many ways that opening our diplomatic relations with Cuba will be positive for our country, and I urge my colleagues to support the Obama administration's decision to update our relationship with our neighbor and future ally.

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