WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:
"In December 2014, the United States embarked on a path to heal decades-old wounds and empower ordinary Cubans. President Trump’s announcement today is a step backward in the rapprochement between our two countries. In particular, restricting the travel of American citizens will only serve to further isolate the Cuban people from the outside world.
“Make no mistake: Raul Castro is a brutal dictator who rules Cuba with an iron fist, denying his people access to free and fair elections, political pluralism, and basic human rights. We must continue to hold him accountable for his abuses. Yet, I can’t help but think about the hypocrisy of a U.S. President so obsessed with one dictator on a small, Caribbean island while at the same time embracing the world’s most dangerous strongmen, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I will continue to stand with the Cuban people as they strive toward a more democratic future.”