US senators seek to lift Cuba embargo

Washington. — A group of US senators proposed legislation on Thursday that would end the more than half-century long trade embargo on Cuba.

The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would repeal the 1961 trade embargo and other laws related to the embargo, which restricts trade between the US and Cuba, but would leave in place human rights provisions.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who introduced the legislation, said the measure would end an unsuccessful policy that has disadvantaged US businesses and open new markets for US goods.

Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba moved in December to restore diplomatic relations, which were severed in 1961.

Obama has said more than 50 years of US isolation of Cuba had failed to prompt political change on the communist island off the US southern coast.

He announced a series of reforms to US policy, and talks to normalise diplomatic relations began last month.

Only Congress can lift the trade embargo. Obama has called on lawmakers to act, but the move faces an uphill battle from vocal opponents of a change to US policy. — Sapa.