Former Congressman George Nethercutt in favor of ending Cuba-U.S - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former Congressman George Nethercutt in favor of ending Cuba-U.S. economic embargo

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Former Congressman George Nethercutt discussing Cuba-U.S. relations Former Congressman George Nethercutt discussing Cuba-U.S. relations
SPOKANE, Wash. - One day after President Obama announced he wants to end the economic embargo with Cuba, former Washington State Congressman George Nethercutt is speaking out about that decision and his role in helping to ease restrictions 14 years ago.

In 2000 Nethercutt spearheaded the passing of a bill which allowed the sale of food and medication from the U.S. to Cuba. His thought, Nethercutt says was, "lets not starve the Cubans or keep them from getting medicine just because we don't agree with their government." Nethercutt says he had farmers from Washington and around the country lobbying for the bill saying, "you're not hurting" Cuba, rather "you're hurting the farmers."
 
Nethercutt says the bill was met with opposition and took three times to actually pass. According to a 2004 Seattle Times article, Washington Senator Patty Murray sent out a fundraising warning to voters asking them to, "not send another clone to Washington." They also criticized Nethercutt for being a "rubber stamp" for Republicans.

Nethercutt says, "Tom Delay, who was anti-Castro, sided with the Floridians," who were opposed to the bill and he put the stop to it. Delay is a former House Republican and majority leader. Nethercutt is in favor of lifting the embargo even though some critics say the people of Cuba wouldn't truly prosper because of the communist rule.

"I think the embargo is used as a crutch by Fidel Castro and his brother to say, look those horrible Americans are the ones making it so bad for you here." Nethercutt believes if the embargo is lifted that "crutch" as he calls it could be taken away and perhaps the people of Cuba may realize and feel more freedoms.

Lifting the economic embargo will require approval from Congress.



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