Newark - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Obama administration today announced changes to policy to Cuba travel and remittances policy:
"I am deeply disappointed by President Obama's decision today to extend an economic life line to the Castro regime. This gift to the Castro brothers will provide the regime with the additional resources it needs to sustain its failing economy, while ordinary Cubans continue to struggle under the weight of more than fifty years of economic and political oppression.
"The decision to permit additional travel to the island and allow nearly unlimited resources to flow to the regime is bad policy and will only serve to prolong the repression of the Cuban people. These changes, purportedly taken in hope of advancing a democratic opening on the island, ignore the reality that it is not U.S. policy, but Cuban policy, that is responsible for the Castros' political and economic tyranny. This opening will do no more to advance political freedom in Cuba then our economic engagement with China has done for political dissidents in that nation. You can't buy political reform.
"The fact that the Administration offered this concession to the regime despite their continued imprisonment of an American citizen is simply outrageous. Unless new efforts are undertaken to limit the impact of these policy changes, the sole result will be to enrich the Castro regime and enhance the political and economic impoverishment of the Cuban people."