WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, released this statement following the Trump Administration’s announcement that they would fully enforce Title III of the Helms-Burton Act:
“Today’s announcement by the Trump Administration is just plain stupid. It undercuts the emerging private sector in Cuba, which the Trump Administration still pretends to support. It alienates our closest allies in Europe, Canada and Latin America, and it strengthens Cuban alliances with Russia, China and Iran. In short, Trump’s Cuba policy is driven by political expediency and an ideology that’s fifty years out of date.
“If there is one thing we know about this president, it is that he has no respect for human rights and no respect for the law. So it’s laughable that National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo make the case that their respect for human rights and democracy compels them to carry out Title III of the Helms-Burton embargo law rather than continue to waive its restrictions based on U.S. national interests. Increasing the tension between our two countries will erode successful national security cooperation on counter-narcotics, human trafficking, and law enforcement.
“The approach that this Administration is taking towards Cuba has proven to be a colossal failure for five decades. While they may be nostalgic for the Cold War, most Americans are not. The Administration’s exploitation of events in Venezuela to settle Cold War scores with Cuba is a distraction from the real needs – humanitarian and political – in Venezuela where diplomacy is key, as shown by the International Committee of the Red Cross’s successful negotiations to deliver desperately needed medical and health services to the suffering Venezuelan people.
The good news is that we have less than two years to tolerate their punitive and malevolent nonsense.”