WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement after attending the official embassy opening ceremony at the Cuban embassy in Washington, DC:

 “The opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington, DC, marks an important step in modernizing our relationship with Cuba after more than 50 years of isolation. This evolution in our relationship with 11 million people 90 miles off of our shore was long overdue, and it is now time to not only open our own fully equipped and staffed embassy in Havana, but to lift the trade embargo once and for all. Passing my bipartisan bill to lift the embargo would benefit the people of both of our countries by boosting U.S. exports and allowing Cubans greater access to American goods."

Klobuchar is leading the bipartisan Freedom to Export to Cuba Act—which currently has 20 Senate cosponsors—to lift the current embargo, which will allow more U.S. goods to be exported to Cuba. The bill would eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba, boosting job creation and exports. It does not repeal provisions of current law that address human rights in Cuba or that allow individuals and businesses to pursue claims against the Cuban government. Klobuchar recently testified before the International Trade Commission to highlight the benefits of lifting the trade embargo and traveled to Cuba to meet with agriculture and export officials to identify ways to open up new economic opportunities for businesses and farmers in the United States. Klobuchar is also a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to lift the Cuba travel ban.‎