8:20 PM EDT
Gregory Meeks, D-NY 6th

Mr. MEEKS of New York. Mr. Chairman, if the United States listened to the people of Cuba, to Cuba's religious leaders, and to the overwhelming majority of its human rights activists and dissidents, it would lift its embargo and begin to normalize relations with the island.

What we should be doing is learning from our own mistakes. Whether we brand a country Communist or not, evil is evil, bad is bad. But we should learn from our own mistakes, for surely in this country it just took to 1965 to where all Americans in this country had the right to vote in America, in a democracy.

We can look back, back in the 1950s, when we sent people like Paul Robeson, Junior, away from this country. We did not allow people to do various things and exercise human rights in this country.

So what we should do, we should take this opportunity to show what we have learned by our mistakes, that understanding that engaging with Cuba, when clearly for 40 years holding them at bay has not done anything, but by engaging with them, we could bring democracy.