Rep. Beyer Hails Progress With Cuba

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, formerly a U.S. ambassador whose 8th District of Virginia includes the City of Falls Church, released the following statement after President Obama announced Wednesday that Cuba and the United States will open embassies in Washington and Havana after more than 50 years of diplomatic isolation: “I have long looked forward to the day we reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba. As we see in American relationships around the world, we can learn to work together, while still maintaining our criticisms of human rights abuses, recognized freedoms, and even forms of government. Cuba and the United States have been estranged long enough. Our policy of forced isolation has not brought regime change, but only reinforced generations of needless suffering brought on by the Castro government. As Cuba slowly moves toward a market economy, and slowly expands the freedoms of its citizens, we must do all we can to strengthen and reinforce such positive movement. I visited Havana last month, and the impacts of reopening US/Cuba relations are already apparent.”