This is the time to end once and for all the U.S. unilateral blockade against Cuba

The Blockade is an Outdated Policy and Must End

But the Cuban diplomat isn’t referring to the quarter of a century she has spent dealing with this issue. “You need to read history and see how Fidel, at different times, expressed Cuba’s willingness to discuss and resolve our differences with the United States through negotiations, without renouncing a single one of our principles. And Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, on assuming the leadership of our government, stated that we have always been willing to normalize relations with that country on the basis of equality.

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Press Release from Foreign Ministry Directorate for Consular Affairs and Cubans Resident Abroad

By MINREX  on July 12, 2016

f0012915On July 9 and 11, two groups of Cuban citizens of 29 and 46 persons respectively, illegally present in Ecuador, were deported to our country. They were transported in an Ecuadorian Air Force aircraft, respecting procedural guarantees established for such cases.

Upon their arrival to José Martí International Airport, pertinent Cuban authorities proceeded to conduct the established international sanitary review, and immediately thereafter the transfer of these persons to their provinces of origin in Cuba was completed.

The deportation of these Cuban citizens was conducted with complete adherence to what has been established in the two countries’ legislation and international norms governing this type of situation, with the fundamental objective of guaranteeing ordered, regular, and safe migration, while fulfilling the commitment to preventing defenseless human beings from being victimized by traffickers in persons.

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How Negotiations Stand Between Cuba and the U.S.

By Jesús Arboleya on July 6, 2016

cuba - U.S.Barely one year and a half after the announcement of a decision to initiate a process aimed at normalizing relations between Cuba and the United States, it becomes convenient to do a balance of that process, inasmuch as people’s perception often ranges from the opinion that everything has been resolved to the assertion that almost nothing has moved forward — and the answer does not seem to be at either extreme.  Sometimes, one is surprised by the swift evolution of negotiations on certain issues. Diplomatic relations were reestablished; accords were formalized on 10 areas of common interest, and negotiations on dozens of others look promising. This demonstrates the existence of a complementarity determined by our nature as neighbors and other international exigencies.

Two of the most striking elements (overlooked by many analysts) have been the political premises and the organization under which this process has been conducted. Both parties have acknowledged that the negotiations are held on the basis of equality and mutual respect, which is particularly important for Cuba, and a bilateral commission has been created to guide and control the negotiations.

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Brookline, MA Calls for the End of the Embargo Against Cuba

BrooklilneLogo (1)On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, at the third and final session of the Brookline, MA, Annual Town Meeting a resolution asking for the end of the US embargo against Cuba was adopted on the unanimous recommendation of the Board of Selectmen and a concurring Advisory Committee who voted an overwhelming 95% in favor. “The Brookline Town Meeting calls for an immediate end to the United States’ economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba; and strongly encourages Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III to support measures that achieves these goals.”

This is the first resolution of its kind adopted on the East Coast. The campaign initiated on the West Cost by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, along with local activists, recently achieved the passage of three similar resolutions in the San Francisco Bay Area. All four resolutions represent the sentiment of public opinion in the United States that calls for a change of U.S. policy towards Cuba.

Brookline, Massachusetts, is an independent town of almost 60,000, surrounded on three sides by Boston and to the west by the city of Newton, governed by an elected town meeting and a five-person Board of Selectmen, and is known for its progressive schools, culture, and character.

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Congressional Letter to President Obama Calls for Release of Oscar López Rivera

May 27, 2016

o_6858 (2)WASHINGTON, D.C. – The four Puerto Rican Democratic Members of Congress released a letter they wrote to President Obama asking for a meeting to discuss the “immediate release” of Oscar López Rivera, a federal prisoner for 35 years who is considered the last Puerto Rican political prisoner held by the United States. The letter, sent on February 24, 2016, makes the case for Mr. López Rivera’s release and appeals to the President’s sense of justice, saying:

Mr. President, you have articulated a wise, healthy policy in support of giving people serving disproportionate sentences a second chance, recognizing that the constitutional power of pardon is the correct remedy. You have to date responsibly commuted many disproportionate sentences of drug offenders and others – and we have seen that public reaction has been favorable, and indeed critical only of the fact that you have not issued more such commutations.

As we see it, there is no legitimate penological objective being served by the ongoing imprisonment of this 73 year old Puerto Rican, when his people and others who value human rights clamor for his release.

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Oakland: 3rd City in California Stands Against the Blockade of Cuba

City Council of Oakland Joins other Bay Area Cities by Adopting a Resolution Calling for an End to the Trade Embargo of Cuba

oakland_sealOn May 17, in a unanimous decision, the City Council of Oakland California passed a resolution calling for an end to the embargo of Cuba. Along with citing the long standing injustice that the embargo represents, the resolution specifically gives the Council’s official support to current bills in Congress including H.R. 664: the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015, H.R. 3238: the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, S299 the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015 and S.491 The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act.

The resolution was initially introduced to the Rules and Legislation Committee of the City Council on May 12 by Council members Rebecca Kaplan and Abel Guillen. At that meeting public comment was heard urging the passing of the resolution. According to Oakland resident Helene Maxwell, “Oakland’s passage of the resolution can serve as a model for local governments around the country to send a clear message to Washington that the embargo must be lifted. It is long past time to make amends for the destructive effects of this policy on the Cuban people for over fifty years.”

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