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US House Democratic Leader Traveling with Lawmakers to Cuba

  • Reuters

FILE - U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (C) is seen at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 11, 2014.

FILE - U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (C) is seen at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 11, 2014.

U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is traveling to Cuba on Tuesday with a delegation of congressional Democrats, Pelosi's office announced.

Late last year, President Barack Obama moved toward normal relations with Cuba and some members of Congress favor further relaxation of trade and travel restrictions with the communist-led island.

"This delegation travels to Cuba in friendship and to build upon the announcement of U.S. normalization of relations and other initiatives announced by President Obama," Pelosi said in a statement released by her office.

"This delegation will work to advance the U.S.-Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade."

Republicans, who have a majority in both houses of Congress, are generally more resistant than Democrats to changes in U.S.-Cuba policy.

Pelosi and her delegation will meet with Cuban government officials, Cuba's Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega, local community leaders and representatives and American officials at the U.S. Interests Section, her office said.

Other members of the delegation include Representative Eliot Engel, the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Representative Rosa DeLauro, the senior Democrat on the agriculture appropriations subcommittee; Representative Collin Peterson, the senior Democrat on the agriculture committee; and Representative Jim McGovern, the co-chair of the congressional Human Rights Commission.

Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced on Dec. 17 they would work toward normalizing relations between their countries, more than half a century after Castro's brother Fidel took power.

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