Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Congressman Serrano’s Statement on U.S. Cuba Agreement to Reopen Embassies and Officially Reestablish Diplomatic Relations

Jul 1, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman José E. Serrano, a longtime advocate of normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations and ending the Cuba embargo, today released the following statement applauding President Obama’s announcement of a U.S.-Cuba agreement to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in their counterparts’ capital:

“I once again want to commend President Obama for his leadership on this issue. After more than five decades of broken diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, today is certainly a historic day. As a long time advocate of changing our foreign policy towards Cuba, I am glad both nations were able to find enough common ground to move forward with this important step. I hope the negotiations continue bearing fruit as we move forward with restored diplomatic relations.  Our previous Cuba policy has failed – for too long, it resulted in the isolation of the United States and damaged our standing in the region.  Today’s announcement changes all that.”

During his 25 years in Congress, Congressman Serrano has consistently advocated for a change in U.S.-Cuba relations and an end to the Cuba embargo, including changing Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terror. During his time in office, Serrano has introduced various pieces of legislation with respect to Cuba, including the Cuba Reconciliation Act, which repeals the U.S. embargo, and the Baseball Diplomacy Act. In 2009, Congressman Serrano inserted language in the House Appropriations bill that rolled back restrictions on family travel that were implemented by the Bush administration. He also worked to roll back restrictions on agricultural trade between the two nations in the same bill.  Thanks to his efforts, the groundwork was laid for President Obama to take further action to expand family travel later that year.  More recently, Serrano has fought against efforts in the Appropriations Committee to roll back many of the Cuba policy changes implemented by the President in December.