Date: Feb 09, 2021
Author: Antonio Saadipour Sellés
Under President Obama’s Administration, we witnessed the historic restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States. The Trump Administration sought to undo all of this progress. Over the last four years, former president Trump made sweeping policy changes that only strengthened the embargo’s grip on the island and intensified the suffering of the Cuban people.
What’s Going On?
On February 4th, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021 to repeal outdated sanctions on Cuba and establish normal trade relations with the island nation. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) are on the bill as well, and you can read the full text of it here.
Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) are also circulating a dear colleague letter to President Biden, urging him to reverse the Trump Administration’s cruel policies against the Cuban people and renew dialogue with Cuba.
What You Can Do
Call both of your senators and leave them a message asking them to co-sponsor the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021. You can find your senators here. Then, call your representative’s office (find them here) and leave another message asking them to sign on to Rep. Rush’s dear colleague letter.
For your senators:
“My name is [First and Last Name] and I am a constituent from [City, State, Zip Code]. I am calling to urge Senator [Last Name] to co-sponsor the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021. Our nation’s embargo on Cuba is a relic from the 1960s that has only brought pain and hardship to the island and to Cubans in the United States. This outdated policy of isolation must be repealed immediately. We need to forge a new relationship with our island neighbor, one of mutual respect and increased engagement. This means taking swift action to restore trade with and travel to Cuba to help the island nation flourish, especially as it tackles its current economic and humanitarian crisis, worsened by the pandemic. Our neighbors in the Caribbean need our help, and co-sponsoring the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act takes us in the right direction. I can be reached at [Email Address]. Thank you for your attention to this issue.”
For your representative:
“My name is [First and Last Name] and I am a constituent from [City, State, Zip Code]. I am calling to urge Representative [Last Name] to sign on to the dear colleague letter currently being circulated by Rep. Rush. The Trump Administration imposed policies that restricted travel to Cuba and tightened sanctions on the island. This dear colleague letter reminds President Biden that with a stroke of a pen, he can reverse these policies and lead us down a path of dialogue and engagement. A majority of Americans and Cubans support the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, and it is past time that we act according to the will of the people. I can be reached at [Email Address]. Thank you for your time.”
We believe strongly that it is in the interest of the United States, and in the interest of the Cuban people, to reverse the draconian Trump policies. Urge your senators and representative to take swift and comprehensive action on Cuba policy so that we may finally start charging towards a new chapter in U.S.-Cuban relations.