Letter: Embargo on Cuba more negatively affects U.S.

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To the editor of Albany Times Union: Published Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The recent changes to federal rules on travel to Cuba are an attempt by the Trump administration to roll back the relaxation of the unfair blockade against Cuba. These actions are detrimental to both our countries.

The benefits of “people to people” travel between the United States and Cuba bring our people and countries together. Cubans gain the economic benefits of tourism. U.S. citizens gain better understanding of this sovereign nation, which provides all its citizens with free health care as well as free education through college.

Ending the embargo would open up the Cuban market — 11 million citizens without U.S. imports for more than 50 years — to U.S. goods. New York state apples, milk, grapes, wine, yogurt and other products could be exported to the benefit of New York producers and manufacturers. Other countries are benefiting from this trade.

There is no strategic reason for the blockade, as the Soviet Union is no more. To accuse the government of Cuba of committing aggression against U.S. diplomats is based on no evidence and in actuality is a “straw man” used to justify these actions. In fact, the Cuban government has just relaxed its rules on travel to allow exiled Cuban citizens to visit. Let’s urge our representatives to address this injustice and pass legislation to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

Fred Pfeiffer

Albany, New York

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