Sen. Patrick Leahy: Cold War Cuba restrictions treated people “as pawns in a political game”

Patrick Leahy

How well did restricting travel by Americans to Cuba work from 1961 until 2014, when President Obama relaxed those Cold War restrictions, decades after the Russians had abandoned the island and Cuba no longer posed any threat to us? It failed miserably. At the same time, it treated the Cuban and American people as pawns in a political game.

Throughout those many years, the Castro government had a ready excuse for its own failings and repressive policies. They could blame it on the United States, and for many years, the Cuban people believed it because we, with our embargo, wouldn’t let Americans travel to Cuba or do business there.

—Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT)

Trump Administration Cuba Policy,  Senate Floor, June 26, 2017

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