From rock concerts to jailed “dissidents” to impacts on Cuban health and well-being . . . all roads lead to ending the embargo.
You all may know about the “Peace without Borders” concert planned by Colombian rock star, Juanes, on September 20. If you haven’t yet signed the petition in support of the concert, you can do so here. Support of this concert comes from many directions, including from Cuban political prisoners, who today said, "We believe this concert … is a great opportunity to advance reconciliation between all Cubans and to leave behind the hatred that for many years has poisoned our homeland." See the article here.
In fact, leading human rights organization Amnesty International said yesterday that “President Barack Obama should take the first step towards dismantling the U.S. embargo against Cuba by not renewing sanctions against the island under the Trading with the Enemy Act.” Their report concludes that the U.S. embargo particularly affects Cubans’ access to medicines and medical technologies and that it endangers the health of millions of Cubans. You can download the full report, in English or Spanish, at the bottom of this press release: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/president-obama-should-take-lead-lifting-embargo-against-cuba-20090902
Amnesty is not the only human rights organization to opine on the embargo. Freedom House publicly supports the ending of the travel ban here, saying, “One key element of a strengthened policy would be the lifting of U.S. legal restrictions on American citizen travel to the island.” Human Rights Watch calls for a new approach to Cuba here, labeling the embargo as ineffective and as isolating of the United States rather than the Cuban government.
It is time to move ahead . . . to change policy . . . to support engagement . . . and to grant all Americans our fundamental right to travel to Cuba without any kind of restriction.