Cubans are facing an increasingly dire humanitarian situation. Food shortages, long lines, and a lack of medical supplies to address the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed the island nation into the worst economic and humanitarian crisis it has faced in recent history. It is critical, now more than ever, that the United States take immediate action to allow humanitarian assistance to reach the Cuban people and take concrete steps to foster constructive engagement with Cuba, leading to the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations.
What’s Going On?
Representatives James P. McGovern (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), and Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter to President Biden regarding changing U.S. policy towards Cuba to address the humanitarian and economic crisis and restore engagement with our Caribbean neighbor. The letter calls for the suspension of U.S. regulations that prevent food, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid from reaching the Cuban people and for the lifting all restrictions on Cuban Americans sending remittances to their families and on non-family donations, allowing nonprofits and faith groups to provide humanitarian assistance and start-up capital for Cuban small businesses and civil society. It also urges a rollback of the Trump Administration’s travel restrictions to Cuba and calls for a return to a policy of dialogue and engagement.
How You Can Help
We need you to get in touch with your representative and urge them to sign onto the letter NOW! The deadline for sign-ons is Friday, November 19. Find your representative here. Then, here’s what you do:
- Call the number for your representative’s DC office.
- Ask to speak to the office’s foreign policy aide.
- Once connected, read (or adapt) the script below.
- You might be asked to just leave a message, either with the front desk or on voicemail. Should that happen, read the same script.
“My name is [FIRST AND LAST NAME] and I’m a constituent calling from [CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE]. Cuba is currently facing the worst economic and humanitarian crisis the island has seen in recent history. Food shortages, long lines, and a lack of medical supplies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the suffering of Cubans on the island and of their families in the United States who are desperate to help but often unable to.
I’m calling you to urge Rep. [YOUR REP’S LAST NAME] to sign onto Rep. Jim McGovern’s dear colleague letter to President Biden, urging him to advance a U.S. policy towards Cuba that addresses the humanitarian and economic crisis and restores a policy of engagement. The letter calls for immediate and concrete actions to alleviate the crisis, such as lifting specific licenses required to send medical supplies and ending restrictions on sending family remittances and lifting restrictions on travel. These are just a few actions President Biden can take to improve the quality of life in Cuba. These actions will also guide us down a path of engagement with Cuba in areas such as migration, disaster response, and climate change. Protecting human rights in Cuba, including the right to protest, can only be achieved through engagement, rather than unilateral isolation, which has proven time and time again to be a failed policy.
Is this something Representative [YOUR REP’S LAST NAME] can support? I hope you will consider my request, and thank you for your time.”
Fill out this form to send a message to your representative. We’ve already written it for you (though feel free to edit)! All you have to do is enter your contact information.
How much longer will we repeat the failed Cuba policies of the past? Time is of the essence, and we cannot keep bargaining with Cuban lives.