Take Action for the Cuban People
Cuba is facing one of the worst economic crises in its history. The Cuban people are facing shortages of clean water, medicine, and medical equipment, and the price of food has skyrocketed. At the same time, it is nearly impossible for U.S. humanitarian and faith organizations to provide humanitarian aid to the Cuban people. The main obstacle is the fact that Cuba is on the State Department’s “State Sponsors of Terrorism List.” Because banks fear running afoul of U.S. anti-terrorism laws and regulations, it can take years for groups to get much-needed aid and finances into the country.
Last week, 20 faith groups issued a letter in support of taking Cuba off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.
President Obama removed Cuba from the list in 2015 as an initial step to opening up diplomatic relations. But in January of 2021, weeks before the Trump administration left office, Secretary Pompeo placed Cuba back on the list with devastating effects for the Cuban people. Private businesses and entrepreneurs who were thriving under the opening of restrictions were decimated. Almost immediately, our partners faced shortages of critical items such as food, medicine, and other lifesaving essentials. For many Cubans, the situation has now become so unbearable they are risking their lives to migrate to the US. Almost 300,000 Cubans have migrated – and U.S. policy is one of the root causes of that migration.
Cuba continues to make international commitments to combat terrorism, has ratified numerous international counterterrorism conventions, and has signed a bilateral agreement with the United States on counterterrorism. Cuba has worked with the U.S. on other efforts as well and provided access to Cuban air space so the US could deliver aid to the Haitian people. Cuba has been lauded by the Colombian government for hosting peace negotiations. In short, Cuba does not deserve to be on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
The Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church, Disciples of Christ has maintained a relationship of solidarity and accompaniment with Cuban partners for more than 60 years. Now is the time to raise our voices, and speak out for the Cuban people! Contact the Administration and Congress today and urge them to take Cuba off the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.