You got an opinion? Let's hear it.
We recently asked Govenor Butch Otter, Republican from Idaho, and a former member of the bipartisan House Cuba Working Group for his opinion regarding the embargo. His response follows:
Thank you for contacting me about your opposition to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. I appreciate hearing from you. I agree with you that the embargo against Cuba no longer serves a military purpose - a position that the U.S. Department of Defense also maintains. Our current embargo exists now solely for the purpose of putting pressure on Fidel Castro to end his dictatorship and re-enter the international community. Many critics point out that Castro's reign of more than 40 years is evidence that the sanctions have been completely ineffective. I believe that, as long as the Cuban government remains a dictatorship, it should be restricted from becoming a full partner in the international community. Idaho farmers and exporters should not be restricted from selling their goods to a nation desperately short of food and modern conveniences. I also believe that American citizens have the constitutional right to travel to Cuba if they see fit to do so. I joined a bi-partisan majority of the House, 240-186, in passing an amendment to H.R. 2590 that would have restored Americans right to travel to Cuba on non-business trips. Although this provision did not make it into the version that was signed into law, I continue to support opening Cuba to American values and American business. I also joined a bi-partisan majority, 273-143, on April 22, 2002 expressing support for allowing private American companies to finance the sale of food to Cuba. I agree with President Bush's recent call for free elections in Cuba and the restoration of individual rights there. I believe that one of the best ways to accomplish this is to open the country to contact with the American people and our way of life. I look forward to the day that Cuban democracy is restored and our nation can reestablish a normal relationship with Cuba. Thank you once again for contacting me. As always, "Idaho - Esto Perpetua" C.L."Butch" Otter Member of Congress
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