Last week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) traveled to Panama City to participate in the 7th Summit of the Americas. This was the first Summit in which Cuba participated. During the Summit, President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro.
"Along with many of my colleagues, I have long called for both the U.S. and Cuba to participate in the Summit of the Americas. It is an important step toward fully normalizing relations with Cuba," said Congresswoman Lee.
The historic meeting between Presidents Obama and Castro was a major development of the Summit.
"The Summit of the Americas meeting is a turning point in Western Hemisphere geopolitics; I hope the Congress seizes this opportunity to start ending more than five decades of failed policy," added Congresswoman Lee.
Before the Summit, the State Department sent a recommendation to the White House that Cuba be removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List.
Congresswoman Lee has long called for Cuba's removal from this list. December of 2013, she wrote a letter calling for the de-listing of Cuba. She reiterated this call in subsequent letters, including a December 2014 letter signed by 37 of her colleagues, which called for moves toward normalization ahead of the Summit of the Americas.
"I am pleased to see the State Department's recommendation encouraging the removal of Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List. This action is an important step forward to fully normalizing relations," added Congresswoman Lee.
Currently, Congresswoman Lee is co-leading The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (H.R. 664) to lift the travel ban and Free Trade with Cuba Act (H.R. 403) to end the failed embargo.