Action Alerts

Will President Obama Firm Up His Commitment to Engage with Cuba?

U.S. policy towards Cuba has its place in the hot seat again. If you recall last April, USAID, (United States Agency for International Development) was confronted about an allegedly covert program to develop a Cuban version of Twitter, named “ZunZuneo,” in hopes of inciting protests and demonstrations in Cuba. While we thought this program was bad enough, it gets worse. On Monday, Associated Press reported that a USAID program in Cuba secretly used an HIV-prevention workshop for political activism on the island. “Beginning in late 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development deployed nearly a dozen young people from Latin America to Cuba to recruit political activists, an Associated Press investigation found. The operation put the foreigners in danger not long after a U.S. contractor [Alan Gross] was hauled away to a Cuban jail.”
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President Obama: Now is not the Time for Shortcuts

Kids Detention FacilityIt is no secret, at least it shouldn’t be, that violence has been spiraling out of control in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The deteriorating rule of law, along with highly corrupt and heavily U.S. funded police and military forces in Guatemala and Honduras, has crippled Central America into one of the most violent regions in the world. Desperate and displaced by violence and poverty, many have taken the decision to flee; resulting in what President Obama has called an “urgent humanitarian situation,” an influx of unaccompanied minor immigrants detained at the U.S. southern border, projected to reach 90,000 this year.

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Cuban-American Miami is Not What is Used to Be

Florida International University released a new pollFIU 2014 poll on Tuesday that surveyed how Cuban Americans in Miami view U.S. policies towards Cuba. Over the past few years we have seen poll after poll show the changing opinion of the majority of Cuban Americans—who now favor engagement with the Cuban government and a change in U.S. policy. FIU's latest poll blows all the other polls out of the water. The most impressive finding from the poll is the clear shift of younger Cuban Americans, ages 18-29, who present an even larger majority in favor of engagement and U.S. policy change towards Cuba.
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Alberto Gonzalez was "Born to Translate Cuba"

Born to translate CubaIf any of you have had the opportunity to travel to Cuba with LAWG or our partner organization, Witness for Peace, or had any interactions with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Marianao/Havana, then you have probably had the distinct pleasure of meeting Alberto Gonzalez, an interpreter for the MLK Jr. Center. Besides being the best Cuban interpreter we have ever run across, Alberto has become the friend of many who have learned from him. He's written a memoir, and we'd love to share with you how you can get it. Alberto is the same age as the Cuban revolution; his book is written from that perspective, and it is as lively and filled with humorous stories as is Alberto himself. The memoir, Born to Translate Cuba, is newly printed and available on You can order it here.

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Pull back the Curtain on Honduras

198110722 c0e92a79b3Almost five years after a coup that has systematically crippled the rule of law in Honduras, the Obama administration continues to support a government intent on using a suspect military for law enforcement and where impunity for human rights abuses by the armed forces continues to hover around 97%.  At least now the House of Representatives is paying attention.

Take action today to end U.S. support of violence and push for justice in Honduras!  

Representatives Schakowsky (D-IL), Farr (D-CA), and Johnson (D-GA) have written a letter to Secretary Kerry asking the administration to ensure that our tax dollars do not fund abusive security forces and to support the rule of law in Honduras. This letter is a great opportunity to demand action from the administration, but its effectiveness hangs on the number of representatives we can convince to sign.

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URGENT: We Need Your Help on this Colombia Letter

colombia_peaceYou’ve heard how human rights defenders, land rights leaders, union activists, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities all still remain in danger in Colombia. And that’s true. But there’s a real opportunity for peace that could make a difference in their lives. Today, you can help:  Urge your member of Congress to sign a letter from the legislatures of the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Northern Ireland to say: Give peace a chance.

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Tell President Obama to Take Action on Alan Gross

Tell President Obama to Take Immediate Action to Secure Alan Gross' Release

Alan Gross has been a name related to any talk about Cuba on Capitol Hill since his incarceration in December 2009. He was arrested in Cuba for attempting to establish a military-style satellite internet connection for Cubans on the island without permission from the Cuban government.  At the time, Alan Gross was working for Development Alternatives Inc, a company that received a grant from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for “democracy promotion” programs in Cuba. The Cuban government charged Alan with committing crimes against the state for carrying out the “subversive USAID program” and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. In light of the most recent “Cuban Twitter” fiasco with USAID’s Cuban democracy promotion programs, it only remains clearer that democracy promotion programs in Cuba are unsuccessful and a waste of tax-payer dollars.

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