USA*ENGAGE Hopeful U.S. on Threshold of New Cuba Policy

Friday, 20 March 1998

"Today's action is a good first step, and we congratulate President Clinton. We are hopeful that the easing of these restrictions will mark a new policy of engagement with Cuba," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman, USA*ENGAGE.

In addition to allowing direct charter flights, the United States will now allow Cuban-Americans to send limited financial aid to families in Cuba, and will ease the restrictions on the sale of medical supplies for humanitarian purposes.

"Family-to-family financial aid is important, however the new policy doesn't go far enough. U.S. dollars will now be more readily available to Cubans to spend -- but only on non-U.S. goods. Establishing trade ties and eliminating travel restrictions, in addition to private financial aid, is the best way to engage the Cuban people and set the wheels in motion for a new relationship with Cuba," Kittredge continued. "It's time to end the 'cold war' with Cuba and embark on policies that will promote human rights, education, and political and economic reforms."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 661 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad.


Contact: Eric Thomas 202/822-9491

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