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I have long been an advocate for the release of unjustly imprisoned U.S. citizen Alan Gross, and  I am pleased he has been reunited with his family. We must never lose sight of the shortcomings of the Cuban government, and continue to press them strongly on human rights. However, I am also optimistic that the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, the release of Alan Gross, and this week’s exchange of prisoners represents the first steps toward a relationship that will benefit both nations economically and culturally. When I had the privilege of serving as Virginia Governor, we signed a million-dollar agricultural export deal with Cuba in 2002. That was Virginia’s first export deal with Cuba in the 40 years since President Kennedy first imposed the 1962 trade embargo, and Virginia agricultural exports to Cuba now top $38 million a year. I look forward to working on this important issue in the next Congress.