- Title: Cuban entrepreneurs urge lawmakers to eliminate trade barriers
- Date: 7th December 2016
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 7, 2016) (REUTERS) CUBAN ENTREPRENEURS DURING NEWS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARLA RECIO CARBAJAL, CUBAN ENTREPRENEUR SAYING: "So the changes made by the U.S. such as increasing flights, increasing travelers to Cuba, facilitating commerce, this has been important because it has made our business grow. So this is such an important moment for Cubans, we are worried about the future and that's why we're here today representing our businesses, representing the rest of the Cuban entrepreneurs and all of our families because our families depend on these changes and this relationship moving forward so our message is that we want the U.S.-Cuba relationship to continue. Please don't turn your back on us (in English and Spanish) Thank you." YAMINA VICENTE SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE)(Spanish) YAMINA VICENTE, CUBAN ENTREPRENEUR SAYING: "I do not want us to go backwards, I want to maintain the achievements we have seen so far and I want to continue the progress." SENATOR MARK WARNER AT PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARK WARNER, SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA SAYING: "This failed 50-year policy has not only ramification vis a vis the United States and Cuba but vis a vis the United States and so many of our friends throughout Latin America. We've made steps, there are more steps that need to take place. We're going to make this progress, we in congress are going to try to make this happen, but most importantly this is going to happen from the Cuban people." REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK LEAHY, VERMONT SENATOR SAYING: "I'll continue to work directly with our new president when he is inaugurated, but also with republican and democrats as I have before, to finally totally lift the embargo to allow the entrepreneurs, the business people in Cuba that we see here today and so many others to do what they can do, bring out the talent of Cuba but also have a promise for young people coming along in Cuba, that there's a reason to stay there." REPORTER VARIOUS OF CUBAN ENTREPRENEURS SPEAKING WITH REPORTERS
- Embargoed: 22nd December 2016 19:13
- Keywords: Cuba U.S. trade relations commerce
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BVZEPZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Cuban entrepreneurs were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday (December 7) to ask lawmakers to continue on a path to open trade barriers with the island nation.
President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on January 20, has threatened to end the recent rapprochement between the United States and its former Cold War foe unless Havana was willing to "make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole."
Entrepreneur Marla Carbajal said she was worried about her future.
"Our families depend on these changes and this relationship moving forward so our message is that we want the U.S.-Cuba relationship to continue. Please don't turn your back on us," she told lawmakers.
Another small business owner Yamina Vicente said in Spanish: "I do not want us to go backwards, I want to maintain the achievements we have seen so far and I want to continue the progress."
The United States and Cuba began normalizing relations in December 2014 after 18 months of secret talks and have since restored full diplomatic ties. President Barack Obama's administration has eased travel restrictions for U.S. citizens, although general tourism remains illegal. Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress oppose ending the decades-long trade embargo against Cuba.
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