Normalize Relations with Cuba NOW!

Please sign our letter today!

The Honorable Bob Corker
Chair, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
425 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510  

The Honorable Ed Royce
Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
2185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Ben Cardin
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510   

The Honorable Eliot L. Engel
Ranking Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
2161 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

cc:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Asst. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin, Senate Campaign Committee Chair Jon Tester, Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer

Dear Chairman Corker, Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Cardin and Ranking Member Engel:

As professionals, NGOs, and grassroots organizations, we are writing to express our support for the efforts to normalize relations with Cuba announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014. We strongly urge Congress to refrain from taking actions that would prevent the implementation of announced travel, trade, and diplomatic efforts to normalize relations. Instead, we encourage the passing of legislation to eliminate the remaining vestiges of outmoded and failed policies.

  1. We believe Cuba should be immediately taken off the terrorist list. The State Department lists only four countries as state-sponsors of terror: Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba. This list was put in place to sanction countries that "repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism." This does not apply to Cuba. We hope the administration will soon take measures to correct this, and we hope Congress will not try to interfere.

  2. Congress should move to lift the embargo. There is a need for dialogue, reconciliation and interaction between the peoples of the United States and Cuba. To encourage such engagement, we support the passage of The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which would lift restrictions on U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba. But we also believe that the trade embargo must be lifted in its entirety. We believe the U.S. government should encourage trade that will benefit both nations, lift restrictions on business and financial transactions, and facilitate cooperation in the areas of environmental protection, drug interdiction, human trafficking and scientific exchanges.

The Summit of the Americas in Panama is a prime time for the leaders of both nations to engage in a productive dialogue to improve bilateral relations. We urge Congress to support President Obama in this effort.

Sincerely,

  • Medea Benjamin, Founder, CODEPINK
  • Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic Policy*
  • Mavis Anderson, Senior Associate for Cuba Policy, Latin America Working Group
  • Ashley Cline, Interim Director, Global Exchange
  • Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy
  • Jean Stokan, Director of Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy
  • David Swanson, Director, RootsAction.org
  • Barby Ulmer, Co-Founder, Our Developing World
  • Leah Bolger, Executive Committee, World Beyond War
  • Chuck Kauffman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
  • Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, Casa de Maryland
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, Founder, Network of Spiritual Progressives
  • Eric Holtz-Gimenez, Executive Director, Institute for Food and Development Policy
  • Gail Walker, Executive Director, IFCO/Pastors for Peace
  • Andrea Miller, Executive Director, People Demanding Action
  • Conor Boylan, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats
  • John Cavanagh, Director, Institute for Policy Studies
  • Henrik Voss, National Organizer, School of the Americas Watch
  • Alicia Jrapko, Lead Organizer, International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
  • Michael T. McPhearson, Executive Director, National Veterans for Peace
  • Dr. Maria Isabel Alfonso, Co-Director, Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE)
  • Becky Bond, Political Director, CREDO
  • Sonia Silbert, Director, Washington Peace Center
  • Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International
  • Bishop Joe Doss (Retired), Founding President, At the Threshold
  • Albert A. Fox, Jr., Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation
  • Paula Clayton Dempsey, Director of Partnership Relations, Alliance of Baptists
  • Carol Blythe, Past-President of the Board, Alliance of Baptists*
  • Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness
  • Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Larry Birns, Director, Council on Hemispheric Affairs
  • Elena Freyre, President, Foundation for Normalization of U.S./Cuba Relations
  • Jan Strout and Cindy Domingo, Co-Chairs, U.S. Women and Cuba Collaboration
  • Cindy Domingo, Chair, WILPF's Cuba and Bolivarian Alliance Issues Committee
  • Phomulang Leholo, Director, Ex-Political Prisoners Association of South Africa
  • Gary Cozette, Co-Founder, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)
  • Patricio Zamorano, Academic, Political Analyst, and Singer/Songwriter
  • Catherine Murphy, Founder/Director, The Literacy Project
  • Mary Hanson Harrison, President, WILPF - U.S. Section
  • John Cavanagh, Director, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
  • Netfa Freeman, Events Coordinator, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)*
  • Venceremos Brigade
  • Laura Carlsen, Americas Program Director, Center for International Policy

*For identification purposes only

 

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