Agreement to Reopen Embassies Marks Symbolic Step Forward in U.S. Engagement with Cuba



Rebecca Morgan, 202.495.2553,
Katie O'Connell, 202.495.2559,

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2015 – In response to today’s announcement by President Obama that the United States and Cuba have agreed to reopen embassies in their respective capitals, Victor C. Johnson, senior adviser for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, issued the following statement:

“We applaud this historic and important step forward in normalizing relations with Cuba. The 50-year policy of isolating Cuba has accomplished no objective that was ever posited for it, and it is time to re-engage. Despite this positive advancement, it is extremely unfortunate that when Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Havana to reopen the U.S. embassy this summer, most Americans will not have the freedom to join him.

“All Americans should have the right to travel to any country. The bipartisan Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act pending in Congress would make it possible for Americans to travel freely to Cuba, as they can to any other country. We call upon Congress to do its part in normalizing relations with Cuba by ending the travel ban and lifting the trade embargo so that Americans can engage freely with Cuba.”