By now you have seen the news – Fidel Castro announced early this morning that he will not seek or accept the position of President or Commander and Chief of Cuba. His announcement comes less then a week before Cuba's National Assembly is scheduled to meet to vote for the next President of the island.
Over the past few weeks, many Cuba experts had speculated that the Cuban National Assembly would nominate Raul Castro for the presidency.
Members of Congress are calling for a review of current policy. Today, over 100 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling on her to conduct a hard-nosed review of our Cuba policy. For statements made by the presidential candidates and members of Congress about Fidel Castro's resignation, log onto the LAWG website here .
What does this mean for us? After more than four decades of trying to force "regime change" on the island, our policy has failed. Fidel is leaving on his own terms, and the leadership transition has run smoothly so far. On Sunday, Cuba's National Assembly will announce the new President, marking the official and constitutional succession of power in Cuba, and an indication, again, of the failure of our Cuba policy.
Fidel Castro has resigned; now the United States must engage! Take this opportunity to contact your member of Congress with this message of engagement. We need a new approach; we want to be able to travel to Cuba and exchange freely with Cubans. Your members of Congress are currently in their districts listening to constituent concerns, so now is the time to call their home offices. Information about how to contact your members in their district offices can be found on each individual member of Congress' website. Or, if you prefer, you may call their Washington offices at (202) 224-3121.
Please take this opportunity to make the voice for policy change heard. Cuba's future should remain in Cuban hands.