CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT REGARDING OPENING RELATIONS WITH CUBA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement regarding the recent announcement of the United States seeking to restore diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba:
“First and foremost, I am grateful for the efforts of President Obama, Senator Leahy, Representative Lee, and all the others who worked so hard to secure the freedom of Alan Gross and Rolando Trujillo. I am pleased that Alan Gross is now back home and reunited with his family, and am relieved that he and Rolando Trujillo are safe on American soil.
“From a national security, humanitarian, and economic point of view, normalizing our relationship with Cuba is a win-win for the United States. After 50 years of the failed policy of isolationism, establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba will renew our leadership with a strategic regional neighbor as well as allow us to compete more effectively with China’s continually expanding global reach. Facilitating travel and commerce will reunite separated families, open up new opportunities for America and Cuba in needed Cuban infrastructure development, and allow the flow of basic goods and services between our two nations.
“Moreover, reopening Cuba as a market for products such as medical goods, agriculture, and information technology makes sense for our industries here in Georgia and across the United States. Middle and Southwest Georgia have much to gain through the development of a new and accessible market right in our backyard.”
Congressman Bishop is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. During his time on the Intelligence Committee, he traveled to Cuba twice and had the opportunity to meet with President Fidel Castro and heads of each of the ministries to discuss issues surrounding education, trade, commerce, and the potential of a mutual relationship between the two countries. Congressman Bishop spoke with the leaders of Cuba about the impact of opening up the borders and lifting the trade embargo on business between Georgia and Cuba.