607. 2/15/2011

“[New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson speaks] ‘Now, my thesis has been that the big issues, the embargo, which largely is controlled by the Congress, the Cuban 5, Guantanamo, the issues that really divide us, I believe should be put aside and dealt with after a series of humanitarian and other measures are dealt with…Therefore, what I would propose happen is that the migration talks that have gone well be expanded to include humanitarian issues…My view is that U.S. and Cuba need each to take steps and not wait for others to act…Now, what needs to happen?  I believe that the Cubans need to free Alan Gross… Nonetheless, there’s a legal process going on, but for humanitarian reasons, I believe this man should be released.  That should be the next step… I believe the U.S. government should lift the terrorist label on Cuba.  This is not the case, that Cuba is a terrorist nation.  I think it makes sense that this happened not just for symbolic reasons, but it also complicates many telecommunications transactions that take place…I believe the recommendation is for there to be a joint cooperative effort to deal with contamination of potential oil spills in our surrounding seas.  This is something that with Bermuda and Cuba together and the United States, find ways to do some joint planning to protect this fragile marine environment and prevent a potential oil spill…Other steps that might be taken by the U.S., smaller steps, put an agricultural extension agent at the Cuban intersection in Havana — in the American section in Havana.  These are steps since agriculture is the primary contact, commercial, that the United States and Cuba have, that those steps should take place.’” [Con Embargo]

“U.S. – Cuba Relations: Moving Policy Forward in 2011 and Beyond,” The Brookings Institution, February 15, 2011

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