Today we write with some good news. Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced changes to U.S. policy towards Cuba – lifting several Trump-era restrictions.
We welcome this long-awaited decision to restore some areas of engagement with Cuba: restarting the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, allowing the reunification of many Cuban families; allowing flights to Cuban cities other than Havana, increasing flights to the island; reinstating the people-to-people group travel, opening more ways to travel to Cuba; expanding support for entrepreneurs; and lifting the cap on family remittances.
These changes begin to fulfill Biden’s campaign promise of improving diplomatic relations with Cuba. But they do not go nearly far enough.
As Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated via Twitter,
“This decision in no way modifies the blockade, Cuba’s fraudulent inclusion in the list of countries sponsors of terrorism or most of Trump’s maximum pressure coercive measures that still affect the Cuban people….But it is a limited step in the right direction.”
The Cuban people are suffering one of the most severe food and medicine shortages, since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is a consequence of the ongoing U.S. blockade, continued impacts of sanctions on freedom to travel, and downturn in tourism from the coronavirus pandemic.
The time to stand with Cuba is now. Sign our letter to Biden urging him to End the Blockade.
We are calling on the Biden administration to fully normalize relations with Cuba, end the blockade, take Cuba off the Sponsors of Terrorism List, and remove the over 200 cruel sanctions left by the Trump administration.
Support Cuba through travel. Join an upcoming Reality Tour! Travel to the island not only supports the local economy but also builds important people-to-people connections, building solidarity and understanding between our two nations.
Our next trip (Cuba Arts, Culture and Architecture) is coming up Nov. 2022, followed by our most popular trip: Cuba New Year’s. These will be unforgettable trips filled with in-depth discussions, vibrant culture, music, and natural beauty. Click here to learn more about our upcoming delegations to the island, or e-mail us at realitytours@globalexchange.
Thousands of people have traveled with us under the People-to-People license, and now with the reinstatement of this category of travel, we can offer more educational, cultural and professional programs to strengthen solidarity and exchange. Join us on one of our open trips or contact us to build a program for your private group of 4 or more.
Now is the time for U.S. citizens to ensure that the next many years of Cuba/U.S. relations will benefit the people of both countries and be free from the Cold War ideology which clouded our mutual self interests.
Cuba and the Cuban people have suffered too long. It is time to end the embargo and fully normalize relations with our neighbor!
P.S. Global Exchange and our partners at the People’s Summit for Democracy are outraged by the decision of the United States government to deny visas to a 23 person delegation from Cuban civil society. We call on the U.S. government and its Embassy in Havana, to reverse the decision to deny their visas. Sign our petition calling on the U.S. to reverse their decision.