WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after President Obama announced the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the release of Alan Gross, an American who has been held in a Cuban prison for the past five years for traveling to the country on a humanitarian mission.
“I am elated that Alan Gross is now safely back in the United States and reunited with his family. I wish him and his family a healthy recovery from what must have been an excruciatingly long and difficult five years. I applaud the president and my colleagues in Congress who worked tirelessly to bring him home.
“I am also very encouraged by President Obama’s announcement that our government will be pursuing a new course with Cuba. After more than 50 years of strained relations, it’s about time we move on from this ‘outdated approach’ as the president said today. Years ago, I was proud to play a small part in normalizing our relationship with Vietnam, after 55,000 lives were lost in a war there. I am confident we can take a balanced approach to doing the same in Cuba that opens up economic opportunities for both countries while still applying pressure for Cuba to establish a more democratic government and end the human rights abuses that have plagued the country for decades.”