Cuba Fund Campaign 2012

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Donate_here_yellowSupport LAWGEF’s Cuba Advocacy Efforts

Welcome to the Cuba Fund Campaign 2012 Headquarters!

This is not your typical Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF) fundraising campaign. This is a seven month long campaign– May 2012-December 2012. We know, we’re trying to pace ourselves. There will be many opportunities to join our stellar honorary co-chairs and campaign committee  and contribute to LAWGEF over the course of these seven months. So if you can give today, a big thanks. If you can give tomorrow, muchisimas gracias!! If you can give in our final push in December too, even better!!

The work that LAWGEF has done thus far in regards to changing our Cuba policy has proven to be even more important within our current political climate. Check out some of our achievements here. Since President Obama made changes to the travel regulations in January 2011, we’ve seen a huge wave of U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. As a result we’ve also been witness to the amazing stories and experiences that many have had on their travels. However, there are attempts coming from many angles in Congress that aim to roll back the progress we’ve made. We cannot let that happen. In addition, many of our traditional funders have limited or stopped funding Cuba advocacy because they think the job has been completed, yet this is not the case.

For the first time in decades, the political environment in both Washington and Havana is such that a sea-change in U.S.-Cuba relations is not only possible, but inevitable. Your contribution to the Cuba program of the Latin America Working Group Education Fund will assist us in taking advantage of these exciting developments and to ensure we don’t return to the counter-productive policies of previous years. 

Helpful Links: 

Build the momentum and contribute today!

Who else has pledged support to LAWGEF’s Cuba Fund Campaign 2012? 


“I strongly endorse LAWG and its effort to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba. America is one of only two nations that has not recognized that the misguided policy has failed to produce any positive solutions. I encourage everyone to support LAWG in changing this failed concept.”

Harry Belafonte
is known worldwide for his achievements as a singer, actor, and producer, and for his commitment to human rights. Beginning with the American civil rights movement in the 1950’s, he has established a distinguished record of human rights advocacy, including serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  He was dubbed the “King of Calypso” for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience. An advocate for humanitarian causes throughout his career, Mr. Belafonte is a vocal critic of public policies that oppress and marginalize disenfranchised groups.

(Excerpted from


“With a history of success in working to change policy, LAWG is poised to play an important role in initiating a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations.”

James Early
 serves as a member of the Board of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, a community of public scholars and organizers linking 
peace, justice, and the environment in the United States and globally. As a long-time advocate for cultural diversity and equity in the nation’s public cultural and educational institutions, he also serves as director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution. He specializes in cultural democracy policy and state-craft and works with Cuban cultural institutions, artists and intellectuals on grassroots cultural heritage. (Excerpted from )


“LAWG has been on the front lines of efforts to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba and to extend to all U.S. citizens our right to travel to our island neighbor.”

Actor, producer and humanitarian, Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. As an actor, his film credits range from the blockbuster The Color Purple to smaller independent features, some of which Mr. Glover also produced. Mr. Glover has also gained respect for his wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts, with a particular emphasis on advocacy for economic justice, and access to health care and education programs in the United States and Africa. He currently serves as UNICEF Ambassador, focusing on issues of poverty, disease, and economic development in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
(Excerpted from


“LAWG is a leader in the movement to end the travel ban and embargo on Cuba. I happily endorse their work and urge you to support LAWG generously. We need a just policy toward Cuba now!”

For more than 50 years, activist Dolores Huerta has worked tirelessly to advance the cause of marginalized communities. She is internationally recognized as a feminist, farm worker advocate, gay rights activist and  labor leader. Along with Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). As a champion whose work transcends issue-specific movements, Dolores launched a “Weaving Movements” campaign at her 80th birthday celebration on August 13, 2010, calling on leaders of the progressive agenda to unite under one banner and work cooperatively towards the common goal of social justice. In May 2012, Ms. Huerta was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Obama. (Excerpted from

“In over my 15 years of advocacy work on behalf of a more realistic U.S. policy towards Cuba and on behalf of the freedom to travel to Cuba for all Americans, I have not had a more reliable, constant and caring partner than the folks at the Latin America Working Group. As a Cuban American residing in south Florida, my work has concentrated on speaking out on behalf of hundreds if not thousands who are deeply affected by harsh policies that continue to separate families and deny U.S. citizens’ basic rights.  The LAWG has been a crucial partner in this outreach.”

A native of Havana, Cuba, Silvia Wilhelm came to the United States as an unaccompanied child in January 1961 through the Operacion Pedro Pan. After returning to Cuba for the first time in thirty-three years later, Ms. Wilhelm became an active advocate for changing U.S. policy towards Cuba. Ms. Wilhelm is the founder and executive director of Puentes Cubanos, an NGO licensed to conduct educational, professional and cultural exchanges between the people of Cuba and the United States. She also serves as president of the Cuban American Commission for Family Rights.
(Excerpted from


Achievements of the Cuba Program of LAWG/LAWGEF:

  • Successfully helped pressure the White House to take executive action to expand travel to Cuba in 2011;
  • Helped win passage of legislation allowing U.S. farmers to sell food and agriculture products to Cuba for cash;
  • Co-sponsored people-to-people trips to Cuba to educate U.S. citizens and build momentum to end the travel ban;
  • Mobilized supporters through social media such as Facebook [30,000+ “likes” on LAWG’s “End the Travel Ban on Cuba” page], [an additional 30,000 new advocates], and Twitter;
  • Compiled and published online resources on “How-to Travel to Cuba” to facilitate U.S. citizen travel to Cuba;
  • Contributed to President’s decision to end restrictions on family travel by bringing Cuban-American delegations to Washington, touring photo exhibit and publication;
  • Mounted a campaign in late 2011 to convince the White House to successfully defeat efforts in the U.S. Congress to roll back Cuban-American family travel to the more punitive Bush-era regulations;
  • Strengthened alliances with Cuban-American, cultural, religious, academic, business, and agricultural communities to press for changes in U.S. policy.