Cuba Policy Foundation


For immediate release: Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Press contact: Brian Alexander with the Cuba Policy Foundation

Cell (202) 321-CUBA (2822)  Desk (202) 835-0200








Tuesday, May 21, 2002, Washington – Forty-eight former members of the United States Senate have spoken out today against the U.S. embargo of Cuba.  “We favor normalizing relations with Cuba,” the bipartisan group of former Senators state in an open letter to President Bush and the Congress.


Citing the embargo’s failure to produce reform in Cuba and the embargo’s negative impact on the United States, Senator Paul Simon (D-IL 1985-1997), who spearheaded the letter initiative, said, “Our policy makes no sense.  It’s hurting the people of Cuba and taking jobs away from the United States.  Meanwhile, it fails to bring any change in Cuba.”


Former Republican Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming (1977-1995) says, "This policy once may have made sense but no longer serves the purposes for which it was imposed.  The interests of the Cuban people would best be served by an American presence." 


“When bipartisan and widely respected American political leaders speak out against U.S. Cuba policy, it is another sign of the failure of that policy,” said Ambassador Sally Grooms Cowal, president of Cuba Policy Foundation. “Coming on the heels of President Carter’s trip to Cuba, the former Senators’ letter is further indication that the U.S. foreign policy establishment opposes the embargo of Cuba,” she added.


The signatories to the open letter to President Bush and the Congress are:


James Abourezk (D-SD), Mark Andrews (R-ND), Lloyd Bensten (D-TX), Daniel Brewster (D-MD), Dale Bumpers (D-AR), Jocelyn Birch Burdick (D-ND), Marlow Cook (R-KY), John C. Culver (D-IA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), David Durenberger (R-MN), Thomas Eagleton (D-MO), J. James Exon (D-NE), Sheila Frahm (R-KS), David H. Gambrell (D-GA), Jake Garn (R-UT), Rod Grams (R-MN), Mike Gravel (D-AK), Fred R. Harris (D-OK), Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR), William Hathaway (D-ME), Walter “Dee” Huddleston (D-KY), Roger Jepsen (R-IA), J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), Robert Krueger (D-TX), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Harlan Mathews (D-TN), Charles McC. Mathias (R-MD), Eugene McCarthy (D-MN), John Melcher (D-MT), Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL), Frank E. Moss (D-UT), Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), Sam Nunn (D-GA), Charles Percy (R-IL), William Proxmire (D-WI), Donald Riegle, Jr. (D-MI), James R. Sasser (D-TN), Richard Schweiker (R-PA), Paul Simon (D-IL), Alan Simpson (R-WY), Robert Stafford (R-VT), Adlai E. Stevenson (D-IL), Donald W. Stewart (D-AL), Steve Symms (R-ID), Joseph D. Tydings (D-MD), Malcolm Wallop (R-WY), Lowell Weicker, Jr. (R-CT).


For more information, please contact the Cuba Policy Foundation.