Vic Fazio, in Article for The Hill, Previews Obama Trip to Cuba

Vic Fazio, a senior advisor in the public law and policy practice at Akin Gump, has co-authored the article “What Obama’s Cuba visit must accomplish” for The Hill.

Previewing Pres. Obama’s upcoming trip to Cuba, Fazio, a former 10-term congressman, and co-author Ron Sarasin, who also served in the House of Representatives, write that perhaps the most significant outcome “could be an end to the distorted view each country holds of the other,” which could “smooth the way for more realistic, rational, and improved relations between our nations.”

Fazio and Sarasin describe what they witnessed during their own recent visit to the island nation and argue that if U.S. critics of Cuba as well as those in Cuba critical of the United States “backed down from their uncompromising view of one another, we might build on the recent diplomatic opening and begin to take the substantial and necessary steps toward a normalized relationship.”

The authors argue for a fully funded U.S. embassy in Havana, the lifting of travel restrictions and the end of the trade embargo. At the same time, they say Cuba needs to trust that U.S. efforts “to open lines of communication and build economic opportunities with the Cuban people are neither a subterfuge nor a threat to Cuba's sovereignty.” Achieving all this, Fazio and Sarasin say, could mean that the 90 miles between the two countries’ shores “may seem far less distant than it has been these past 55 years.”