U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says while the U.S. will soon have an embassy in Cuba, lifting the trade embargo won’t be so easy. Reopening embassies in each other’s capitals appear to be one of the final steps in normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations that President Obama can take without congressional action. Durbin says while Illinois businesses may be excited about the prospects of trading with Cuba, lifting the embargo means dealing with federal lawmakers who have been opposed to re-establishing diplomatic ties.
“We’ve got to confront them and challenge them, because I think as we move in more products, more business, we move in better ideas, and I think Cuba will start to change for the better,” Durbin said. Other issues between Cuba and the U.S. which need to be resolved include returning U.S. fugitives who have found safe harbor in Cuba, and compensating Americans for property taken after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.