Senate Committee Members Want Review of Cuba Policy

Officials say restrictions may be eased.

A report written by minority committee staffers calls for lifting Bush administration restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba, reinstituting formal bilateral cooperation on drug interdiction and migration, and allowing Cuba to buy U.S. agricultural products on credit. The report stops short of proposing the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba be lifted.

The Republican call for review runs parallel with Obama Administration statements. An administration official says it was not unreasonable to expect that Obama would ease constraints on Cuba before he attends the mid-April Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. U.S. trading partners such as Latin America and Europe maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.

The views of Senator Richard Lugar, R-Ind., are appended to the report. "The debate is important because it has implications for security interests in the Straits of Florida, broader U.S.- Latin American relations, and global perceptions of U.S. foreign policy," Lugar wrote. "It is clear that the recent leadership changes have created an opportunity for the United States to reevaluate a complex relationship marked by misunderstanding, suspicion, and open hostility."

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