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You can make a difference in U.S.-Cuba policy!

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Author: Angelika Albaladejo

flagsYou are a citizen diplomat; you are someone who can make a difference. Pope Francis’ words to all of us —Catholics and non-Catholics alike— are to get moving and make a difference. 


We are asking you to make a difference by reaching out to the U.S. Congress, where the power to end the embargo 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.



Can you take a moment today to email or call your member of Congress?

If your congressperson is a Republican, our request to you is a plea! We need Republicans (and Democrats) to make this happen. We need your Republican member to pay attention to U.S.-Cuba policy! Help your representative realize that they’re stuck in the past in a way that conflicts with their constituents’ wishes.



There’s a palpable movement among Republicans in support of a change in policy toward Cuba. They are starting to listen to reason. Republican or Democrat, we want your congressperson to join that moving line!



Here’s how you can email your member of Congress! 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? 



To share the message below with your congressperson, visit your representative’s website (ex. engel.house.gov), go to their contact page and locate their contact form (most are labelled something like “email me” or “contact your rep”), enter your zip code and other information as prompted, then compose your message.



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 [Congressperson’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]  

P.S. If you’re interested to know who’s already supporting these bills, click here for a list of current co-sponsors on HR3238 and click here for a list of current co-sponsors on HR664.