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Barbara Lee leads delegation to Cuba

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will lead a congressional delegation to Cuba tomorrow.

“The election of President Barack Obama presents a great new opportunity to rethink U.S. foreign policy in many regions of the world,” she said in her news release. “America’s harsh approach toward our nearest Caribbean neighbor divides families, closes an important market to struggling U.S. farmers, harasses our allies and is based on antiquated Cold War era thinking.”

Other members of the delegation include Reps. Mike Honda, D-San Jose; Melvin Watt, D-N.C.; Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.; Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; and Laura Richardson, D-Long Beach.

Lee hopes this delegation — tasked with reviewing policies on trade and commerce as well as cultural, health and academic exchanges — will demonstrate to Cubans that Americans want a new relationship “based on diplomacy, dignity and respect.”

“It is time to have an open an honest discussion about a new way forward for our two nations and it is our hope that this delegation will help to initiate that discussion both here in the US and in Cuba,” she said.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR

    Struggling farmers? In Berkeley? What about the A’s?