TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – (WFLA) – Congresswoman Kathy Castor is concerned about a potential reversal on U.S. relations with Cuba.
Castor led a congressional delegation in Havana in 2016 and believes changes put into place by President Obama have made a positive change.
Castor says reversing the policy would hurt the U.S. economically and hurt families in the Tampa Bay area.
“There are some real hard liners that are pressing to roll back the progress that we have made on Cuban engagement. I’m hopeful the Trump administration will not do that, and they’re also hearing from Chambers of Commerce, families, entrepreneurs that are growing businesses in Cuba,” said Castor.
Over the weekend, Florida Senator Marco Rubio told a Spanish language publication that he’s talked to President Trump on three occasions about Cuba.
Rubio believes President Obama received nothing in return when he normalized relations with the Cuban government.
Castor said the policies of the past did not work.
“Why would we go backwards, for 50 years we had an embargo and kind of a ‘talk to the hand’ policy and that didn’t change things in Cuba. Now, slowly but surely, through engagement, we are seeing businesses on both side of the Florida straights grow,” said Castor.
During her trip to Cuba, Castor visited a small home where a young woman is now earning a living sewing and selling baby clothes in Cuba. Castor believes the business is a positive sign changes are happening for the average Cuban.
“I know they argue that nothing has changed in Cuba, but to the contrary, a lot is changing in Cuba. Young entrepreneurs are building businesses on the island, what we’ve got to do is lift the embargo. We’ve got to go in the other direction, we’ve got to lift the embargo so we can build on the progress that we’ve made so far,” she said.