**ALERT – ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR CUBA SOLIDARITY AND ANTI-SANCTIONS ACTIVISTS**
We have a rare chance to hold — and win — two historic votes in the House of Representatives rolling back parts of Cuba sanctions pertaining to food, medicines and remittances (see explanation below). This is just a first small step to create momentum that will lead us towards defeating the embargo for once and for all. See below the actions for full details on the amendments and the context.
We can make these initial wins happen if we are prepared to fully activate our networks on Monday 7/27 to convince Rep. McGovern and again on Wednesday 7/29 to ensure we overwhelmingly win the vote.
What you can do RIGHT NOW:
1. Get your organization to endorse the amendments (fill out form
3. Reach out to your Congressional representatives in the House (even over the weekend if you have pre-existing contacts) to urge them to cosponsor. Follow up all week until you get a response.
4. Prepare your organization to send out mass blasts to email lists and social media first thing Monday AM. If you are an individual, CODEPINK will do a blast and a petition Monday morning that you can share.
5. Tweet about the amendments and the need for a vote.
*Be sure to tag @RepJimMcGovern @RulesDemocrats @SpeakerPelosi
Trump’s tightening of embargo against #Cuba
in middle of a pandemic is cruel.
Pass the 2 amendments proposed by @RepBobbyRush
to remove sanctions on food & medicine & end caps on family remittances.
Congressional Amendments Introduced to Allow Food, Medicine and Family Remittances to Cuba
Congressman Bobby Rush proposed the amendments to the appropriations bill that funds sanctions enforcement
Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) has introduced two amendments to roll back aspects of sanctions on Cuba
to the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) section of the minibus spending bill. Rush’s amendments would prohibit the use of funds to enforce sanctions related to selling, delivering, transporting or providing food and medicine, as well as the ability to enforce caps on family remittances to Cuba.
The amendments are listed on the website of the Rules Committee
, which is chaired by Rep. Jim McGovern — a longtime advocate against sanctions on Cuba
. It is largely up to Rep. McGovern to make the final decision about whether the amendments come up for a vote in the House of Representatives. There are concerns, however, that Democratic leadership may seek to prevent the House from voting on these amendments, so McGovern’s support is critical.
While Cuba reports one of the lowest rates of confirmed Covid-19 in Latin America, severe shortages
of food and medicine have hit the island, largely as a result of a defensive shutdown and a virtual lack of foreign tourism.
Rush’s first amendment
would prohibit enforcement of sanctions against companies shipping food and medicine to Cuba, which has happened as recently as May 2020
. Rush’s second amendment
would roll back the 2019 Trump policy restricting remittances to only $1,000 every three months. This amendment would revert to the Obama-era remittance policy of not setting dollar amounts. Some 40 percent of Cuban-Americans send remittances, according to the widely respected FIU poll
, while 56 percent of Cubans on the island depend on remittances, according to a recent independent study
Remittances have been a hot topic for South Florida Democrats with substantial Cuban-American constituencies. When the Trump decision was announced, even South Florida Congressional representatives Kathy Castor and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell spoke out forcefully
against the decision.
“I am very concerned that the Cuban people and their U.S. relatives will suffer unnecessarily because of the Trump administration’s sanctions,” Rep. Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) said. “There are hundreds of thousands of Cuban Americans who live in South Florida and in my district, who would like to continue supporting their families back in Cuba.”
“Trump’s harsh policy will do nothing but bring pain to families, hurt the growing Cuban private sector, alienate our closest allies and diminish our ability to promote democracy and human rights in Cuba,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. “Trump’s restrictions on the amount of money Cuban Americans can send to their family members in Cuba is particularly cruel at a time when the administration has in essence closed the door to Cuban refugees and asylum seekers.”
More recently, the Trump Administration’s plan to prohibit remittances from going through the Cuban entity FINCIMEX led Rep. Donna Shalala to condemn the action
. “If Trump effectively cuts off remittances in the middle of a pandemic, it will not only be cruel to the Cubans on the island but their families – many of my constituents – in the US.”