USA*ENGAGE Criticizes U.S. Government Decision Preventing Business Summit in Cuba

Friday, 4 September 1998

"This summit is an attempt to begin building ties between the Cuban and American business communities, so that some day we may all benefit. The Treasury Department should not be attempting to politicize such a meeting," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "All Americans support freedom for Cuba. However, withholding the licenses seems to be a less than subtle attempt to dictate what Americans say about Cuba. Such interference in our freedom of speech is clearly an inappropriate role for the U.S. Department of Treasury."

"These developments are particularly disappointing in light of the Pope's visit to Cuba earlier this year. It seemed at the time that the seeds were being sown for more interaction between the United States and Cuba," Kittredge continued. "USA*ENGAGE continues to believe the time is right to promote positive change through a policy of engagement with Cuba, and will continue to seek these opportunities."

USA*ENGAGE and the National Foreign Trade Council will continue to co-sponsor the U.S.-Cuba Business Summit, which will now be held entirely in Cancun, Mexico on September 9 - 11, 1998.

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 676 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. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions.


Contact: Eric Thomas 202/822-9491

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