Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Statement on Announcement to Improve U.S.-Cuba Relations

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, who participated in a February 2013, Congressional Delegation to Cuba, today issued the following statement on the Obama Administration announcement regarding the restoration of economic and diplomatic ties with Cuba following the release of American Alan Gross and others, including dozens of political prisoners.

"As Chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, I traveled to Cuba with a bipartisan group of Senators. I told President Castro that building a new economic and political relationship would only be possible if he released Alan Gross and other political prisoners. President Castro got the message, and I am thrilled that Alan Gross has been reunited with his family. Alan is a real fighter and I can't thank him enough for his service to our country.

"I support the policy changes President Obama announced today because they will boost agriculture, encourage manufacturing, and create jobs in America by increasing our country's ability to export goods and products, including many made or grown right here in Michigan. I also believe that these actions will serve as the basis for lasting and meaningful political reforms in Cuba that will finally bring freedom to the Cuban people."