Photos: Pedro Szekely
Dear President Biden,
Under the Obama-Biden Administration, we witnessed the historic restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States. We are grateful for your role in this opening, as it led to travel restrictions being lifted for Americans traveling to the island, the relaxing of the embargo, and opportunities for Cuba and its people to flourish socially and economically.
The Trump Administration sought to undo all of this progress. Over the last four years, former president Trump made sweeping policy changes that only harm the Cuban people and undermine the possibility of establishing a constructive relationship with our island neighbor.
We believe strongly that it is in the interest of the United States, and in the interest of the Cuban people, to move forward with the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. We urge you to take swift and comprehensive action to lift travel restrictions to and sanctions on the island, encourage Congress to end the travel ban and trade embargo, and fully normalize diplomatic ties with Cuba. These decisions will enable Cubans to engage more readily in their own internal processes of reform and political debate and allow Cubans to prosper as they struggle to rebuild their economy in light of the pandemic and increasingly harsh sanctions.
The move toward normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations under the Obama-Biden Administration created a wave of positive change. Cuba’s developing private sector boomed, access to the Internet and social media was broadened, and scientific, social and cultural exchanges between our two countries multiplied. The Trump Administration drastically changed course by restricting remittances sent by Cuban-Americans to families in Cuba, limiting family travel, restricting people-to-people and most other categories of travel for all U.S. citizens, placing Cuba on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, and recalling most of the staff from the U.S. embassy in Cuba (and expelling an equal number of Cuban diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington).
The unraveling of President Obama’s Cuba policies has brought us back to square one, and action is needed now more than ever. Cuba has been able to effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year. Recently, cases began to spike again, adding to the devastation brought on by the humanitarian and economic crisis the island is currently facing. Carrying out the policy changes in the petition will benefit the Cuban people who are finding themselves in increasingly dire circumstances and respond to concerns about their well-being among the Cuban-American community here in the United States.
Photos: Pedro Szekely
We need the power of your voice to make sure our call is heard. Please consider sharing this petition with your networks: friends, family, and colleagues.
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And here's a sample Facebook post:
"I just signed the @LAWGAction petition to President Biden to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after decades of failed policy. We must #EndTheEmbargo and allow foster positive engagement between our two countries and allow the Cuban people to prosper. We can't continue repeating the policy disasters of the past. Sign here:
-The LAWG Team
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