Dem Rep. McGovern: Trump Reversed Obama’s Cuba Easing, ‘And as a Result, We See Increased Suffering on the Island’

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) stated that when former President Barack Obama softened American policy towards Cuba, “people were sending more remittances to their families. You saw people supporting small businesses that were growing in Cuba. You saw more political space, a strengthening of civil society.” But former President Donald Trump “turned everything back, and as a result, we see increased suffering on the island.”

McGovern said that the Cuban government should respect the right of the Cuban people to protest against the problems on the island, free protesters they have arrested, and restore Internet access.

He added that the Biden administration should recognize, as the Obama administration did, “that our policy toward Cuba, for the last many decades, has been a miserable failure. This economic embargo, these sanctions that we have put in place have hurt average Cubans. They haven’t hurt the hardliners in the Cuban government.”

McGovern further stated, “When we began to ease things under the Obama administration, we actually saw a very different thing happen. One is that people were sending more remittances to their families. You saw people supporting small businesses that were growing in Cuba. You saw more political space, a strengthening of civil society. All those things are good. All those things help pave the way for a better future for the Cuban people. I mean, Trump — I mean, Biden, at a minimum, ought to reverse Trump’s additional sanctions, one of which, by the way, makes it difficult for a Cuban-American son or daughter living in the United States to send remittances to their mother or father in Cuba to help them get through these difficult times. I mean, that’s a rotten, cruel thing that Trump did. We ought to be able to reverse it right away. And when people say, the Cuban government will take advantage of that, certainly, we can figure out a delivery system that will get it to the people who need it. But if we want to help the Cuban people, enough of the Cold War rhetoric. I mean, let’s get down to the business of formulating a new, more constructive policy, one that actually helps the Cuban people.”

McGovern concluded that the Obama administration “was on the right track. When Trump became president, he turned everything back, and as a result, we see increased suffering on the island.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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