Patrick LeahyAnyone who thinks that more economic pressure, or ultimatums, will force the Cuban authorities to stop arresting political dissidents and embrace democracy have learned nothing from history. For more than half a century we have tried a policy of unilateral sanctions and isolation, and it has achieved neither of those goals. Instead, it has been used by the Cuban government as an excuse for repression to protect Cuba’s sovereignty. It has hurt the Cuban people, not the Cuban government. And it has provided an opening for our adversaries and competitors, like Russia and China, in this hemisphere.

—Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT)

 Senate Floor, May 25, 2017

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