Congressional Cuba Forum Today

Monday, September 21, 2009
Dear Colleague:

Your attendance is requested at a bipartisan policy forum, "U.S. Policy toward Cuba: Key Considerations for a Long Term Strategy." As the United States begins new dialogue with the Cuban government, we must give careful thought to how this new relationship will impact U.S. interests, particularly national security, trade, and human rights.

This April, the Obama administration lifted all restrictions on family visits and remittances to Cuba. The administration also took steps to facilitate communication between separated family members in the United States and Cuba and increase the flow of humanitarian resources directly to the Cuban people. In June, the President outlined a series of steps the Cuban government can take to both open its society and improve relations with the United States.

Peter DeShazo, Director of Americas Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies will moderate a forum examining the Obama administration's new policy and outlining key considerations for developing a long term plan.

Among the distinguished group of panelists are:

· Daniel Erikson, Senior Associate for U.S. Policy and Director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, and author of "The Cuba Wars: Fidel Castro, The United States, and The Next Revolution;"
· Rensselaer Lee, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute;
· Mauricio Claver-Carone, Executive Director at Cuba Democracy Public Advocacy, Corp;
· Ray Walser PhD., Senior Policy Analyst for Latin America at the Heritage Foundation; and
· Ambassador Craig Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (invited).

The forum will take place on September 21, 2009 in 1539 Longworth HOB from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

This forum is sponsored by Rep. Anh Cao, a member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Executive Board.