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Report Urges Cuba Policy Reforms

Andrew Nagy
Posted: February 24, 2009

In a recent report, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee spoke out against current U.S. policy towards Cuba and pressed his colleagues to rethink lifting the ban on travel to the island.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-IN, introduced and endorsed the report, prepared by staff member Carl Meacham after he visited Cuba in January, with a letter.

Lugar's letter stated that factors such as the election of Barack Obama as president, the passing of power from Fidel Castro to brother Raúl, and the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution have opened doors for the United States to reevaluate its policy toward the island.

"Mr. Meacham's report provides significant insight and a number of important recommendations to advance U.S. interests with Cuba," Lugar wrote.

Perhaps most controversial, though, is the report's request to lift the ban on travel.

Meacham recommended, "fulfilling President Obama's campaign promise to repeal all restrictions on Cuban-American family travel and remittances before the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17—19, 2009."

The report also suggests more frequent talks between the countries' leaders, sharing medical supplies and continuing to aid each other in the fight against drug trafficking.

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