Dear President-elect Biden,
As people who want to live in friendship and peace with Cuba, we are enthusiastic about the possibility that your incoming administration will restore the historic improvement of relations between Cuba and the United States made during the Obama/Biden era. Over the past four years, the Trump administration overturned much of that progress and instead opted to punish the Cuban people in a futile attempt to help his chances for reelection.
The Trump administration sanctioned Cuba’s tourism and energy industries, blocked coronavirus aid shipments to the country during the pandemic, implemented restrictions on sending remittances to Cuba, restricted the right of U.S. citizens to travel to the island, stymied medical collaboration that could be helpful in combating COVID-19, and harmed U.S. companies that could benefit from trade.
Given that most of these policies can be changed by executive order, we encourage you to do the following immediately as a show of good faith and willingness to re-engage with Cuba to promote peace, security and friendly relations:
- Work with the Cuban government to allow the return of diplomats to the respective embassies and to fully staff the U.S. Embassy in Cuba;
- Lift all restrictions on remittances;
- Remove Cuba from the list of countries that do not collaborate in the fight against terrorism;
- Cancel the imposition of Title III of the Helms Burton Act.
We also support additional recommendations for specific policy areas as detailed by the letter from the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE), which can be found below.
We believe that punishing civilians is inhumane, illegal and unworthy of a country that seeks to promote human rights worldwide. We hope that your administration will mark a comprehensive reversal of those harmful policies and return to the legacy of the Obama administration.