The United States and Cuba have agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations by reopening embassies in Washington, D.C., and Havana.
The United States and Cuba severed relationships in 1961 and the United States imposed an embargo on all items to Cuba in 1962. President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 2000 to allow for the United States to export food and medicine to Cuba with the first shipments in 2001.
There are a number of Republican members who are not pleased with the administration’s decision. Some are considering blocking the nomination of a U.S. ambassador to Cuba and not providing funds for the U.S. embassy. The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba said, “Farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses across the nation welcome this progress toward normalized relations with Cuba. Not only are embassies critical to strengthening commercial ties – affording diplomatic status suggests a willingness to engage constructively on many important matters. We’re hopeful today’s announcement will ultimately lead to an end to the embargo and increased economic opportunity for agriculture in both our nations.”