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Take Action on U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

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Author: Angelika Albaladejo

 

End the Blockade
                                           Billboard in Bayamo, Cuba: “End the Blockade.”
Photograph by Mavis Anderson.

You are a citizen diplomat. You have the power to make a difference in U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba.

Thanks for all you have done so far; it has made a difference! Now is not the time to end our advocacy for a new U.S. policy toward Cuba.

We’re asking you to make a difference by reaching out to the U.S. Congress, where the power to end the trade embargo and travel restrictions on Cuba really rests. 

The President has done a lot to change U.S. policy toward Cuba and he will likely use his remaining executive power to do more before the end of the year. But, only Congress has the power to definitively end the embargo.

There are two bills in the House of Representatives that would move us a LONG way in that direction:

There are also two bills in the Senate that can help move U.S.-Cuba policy forward:

flagsPhoto credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

S299 and HR664 would both end the ban on travel to Cuba, while S491 and HR3238 would end restrictions on trade with Cuba. Taken together, the bills would end the embargo.

Can you take a moment today to call or email your representative or senators’ office? It’s important that congressional offices are educated about the positive benefits of ending the embargo and encouraged to co-sponsor these bills. 

If your congressperson is a Republican, our request to you is a plea! We need Republicans (and Democrats) to make this happen. There’s a palpable movement among Republicans in support of a change in policy toward Cuba. Republican or Democrat, we want your congressperson to join that moving line!

Here’s how you can email or call your representative in the House!

NOTE: we are not going to give you just one button to click to send a message. We have learned that these kinds of easy-to-do messages go to dead email boxes and don’t reach your member. Is it worth your while to make sure that your member’s staff will read your message and pass your views along to your congressperson? Then follow these instructions for sending a message!

Call

  • This is the preferred action. Call the capitol switchboard number: 202.224.3121 and ask to be connected to your representative’s office.
  • Or look up your representative here. To the right of your representative’s photo and below your representative’s name will be a small computer logo. Click the computer logo to go to your representative’s website where you can find a direct phone number for her/his Washington, DC office.

Email

  • Look up your representative here.
  • To the right of your representative’s photo and below your representative’s name will be a small envelope logo. Click the envelope to go to your representative’s contact form.
  • Once you have reached your representative’s contact form, you can enter your contact information and compose your message; we’ve drafted a sample email below that you can use as a starting point!

Here’s a draft to get you started–you can cut and paste it as is, but we encourage you to edit the message to fit your own style:

Dear Rep. [REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME], 



I’m your constituent. I live in [YOUR CITY/TOWN].  And I have an important message for you. U.S. policy toward Cuba needs your attention. Rep. [NAME], I encourage you to listen to me and the overwhelming majority of the American people in our district and across the country: We want to engage with Cuba. We want to be able to travel to Cuba without restriction. We want our district’s businesses to be able to trade with Cuba without restriction. This will benefit both our district and the Cuban people. That’s what our policy is supposed to do!

There are two bills in the House of Representatives that would move our district and this country in the correct direction. Rep. [NAME], I ask you to support and co-sponsor
these bills. And do it now!

HR 3238, introduced by Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN 6th), the Cuba Trade Act of 2015. [FOR REPUBLICANS] Contact Jason Frye in Congressman Emmer’s office. [FOR DEMOCRATS] Contact Lara Hopkins in Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s office.

HR 664, introduced by Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC 1st), the Freedom to Travel to 
Cuba Act of 2015. [FOR REPUBLICANS] Contact Roger Morse in Congressman Sanford’s office. [FOR DEMOCRATS] Contact Cindy Buhl in Congressman Jim McGovern’s office. 



Thank you and please let me know that you have taken these actions.

Sincerely,


[YOUR NAME

YOUR ADDRESS AND ZIP CODE

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS] 

 

Here’s how you can email or call your senators!



Call

Email

  • Look up your senators here by choosing your state.
  • Click the “contact” link that comes up for each of your senators.
  • Once you have reached your senator’s contact form, you can enter your contact information and compose your message; we’ve drafted a sample email below that you can use as a starting point!

Here’s a sample email to get you started, please feel free to edit:

Dear Senator [SENATOR’S NAME],

I’m your constituent. I live in [YOUR CITY/TOWN].  And I have an important message for you. U.S. policy toward Cuba needs your attention. Senator [NAME], I encourage you to listen to me and the overwhelming majority of the American people in our state and across the country: We want to engage with Cuba. We want to be able to travel to Cuba without restriction. We want our state’s businesses to be able to trade with Cuba without restriction. This will benefit both our district and the Cuban people. That’s what our policy is supposed to do!

There are two bills in the Senate that would move our state and this country in the correct direction. Senator [NAME], I ask you to support and co-sponsor
 these bills. And do it now!

S299, The Cuba Trade Act of 2015, introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

S491, The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Thank you and please let me know that you have taken these actions.

Sincerely,


[YOUR NAME

YOUR ADDRESS AND ZIP CODE

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS] 

Use social media to share this action with friends!

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Write a Letter-to-the-Editor!

  • If you have a bit of energy left over, it would be GREAT if you’d write a letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper, asking your members of Congress to support a change in U.S. policy and urging him/her to co-sponsor the travel and trade legislation described above. Take a look at our action alert with tips on how to write your letter-to-the-editor. If your letter gets printed, send it to your members of Congress!