We're soooo close! We are within reach of changing "travel-to-Cuba" policy. Now we just need YOU to get us one more co-sponsor. Will you? There are specific members that we need; read on for details. Within the last few short weeks we've seen some promising developments in U.S.-Cuba policy coming from the White House – on travel and remittances for Cuban Americans and on some limited diplomatic re-engagement. This is good news, and we hope to see these changes continue in a positive direction.
But, as you probably know, only an act of Congress can actually end the full travel ban. That's why we are asking you to contact your members of Congress AGAIN today using a new advocacy tool that presents you with either a letter thanking your member of Congress for cosponsoring the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act"; or, if they have not yet cosponsored the bill, the letter urges them to do so.
Contact all your members of Congress at once here!
In the last months you have made incredible progress with getting your members to cosponsor both H.R. 874 and S. 428. It has been the phone calls, emails, and office visits that you have made that has gotten us this far. Today we have 159 cosponsors in the House, and 29 cosponsors in the Senate. Very respectable, indeed. But these numbers won't pass the bills and get them to the President's desk to be signed into law.
Send a message to your members of Congress here: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/625/t/8560/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1015
We apologize for sounding like a broken record, always asking you to do the same thing – to contact your representative's and senators' offices; but we are so close and your efforts have gotten us to this point. We need the extra push now to get us over the top. Our goal is another 20+ cosponsors in the House and another dozen in the Senate, plus we need members' commitments to vote for the bills to reach 218 in the House and 60 in the Senate. This is no slam dunk yet. Our work is not done.
Here is where you can see if your members have cosponsored the bills:
Especially if your members don't appear on these lists, we urge you to take action now.
And please forward this message NOW to at least three people who you think would take action – with your personal endorsement.
If you are not yet part of our grassroots Cuba advocacy e-mail list, please join here.
Big Changes in Cuba Policy
On Monday, June 1, The United States and Cuba agreed to reengage on issues of mutual interest. Talks are scheduled to resume on issues of migration and direct mail service. These talks are not entirely novel aspects of the bilateral relationship; actually up until 2003, they were the center piece of a very limited bilateral relationship. Cuba is also ready to engage in talks on fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and hurricane preparedness. See an article here.
The Organization of American States (OAS) is having its 39th General Assembly meeting as we speak, in Honduras. The meeting, much like the Summit of the Americas just weeks ago, is making the issue of the U.S.'s attempted isolation of Cuba a center piece on the two day agenda, centered primarily on the question of Cuba's suspension from the hemisphere's oldest multilateral institution. Already, several countries have submitted resolutions calling on the Assembly to lift the suspension, and the United States, through Secretary of State Clinton, has expressed a willingness to consider agenda item, albeit incrementally. See a Miami Herald report here.
As always, "mil gracias" for your hard work. While the task is not yet accomplished, we are closer than we have been in more than eight years. Let's not stop now.