Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba Press Conference

633 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1410, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203  www.wicuba.wordpress.or g 633 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1410, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203  www.wicuba.wordpress.org

Media Release:                  Contact: Atty. Art Heitzer, 414-273-1040, ext. 12; or 414-628-2547 June 15, 2017


Friday, June 16, 2017, 3:30pm  Central United Methodist Church, 639 North 25th Street, Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba is sponsoring a news conference to respond to this Friday’s announcement in Miami by President Trump of his new policies towards Cuba, and to support our right to travel and interact with the Cuban people. The news conference will take place on Friday, June 16, 2017, 3:30 pm, at Central United Methodist Church (CUMC), 639 North 25th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233. CUMC has a sister church in Central Havana (La Trinidad), and when members of CUMC attended the centennial celebration of their sister church in 1999, were prosecuted by the U.S. government for under policies which have since been abandoned. The U.S. government eventually dropped all charges, in response to assertions that this attempted prosecution interfered with the members’ religious practice and was based on racial profiling. Members of the church delegation will be present on Friday.  The presenters will include: Dr. Raul Galvan, who has been in his native Cuba twice with groups this year, and produced a story for Milwaukee PBS which will air Friday evening at 7:30 on Channel 10.1; Dr. Tony Baez, a prominent leader in Milwaukee’s Latino community; Rebecca Skeeter and Alicia Skeeter, mother & sister of a Wisconsin medical student in Cuba;  Lupe Duenas, who recently returned from two church mission trips to Cuba; Paul Kinsley & possibly Bill Ferguson, members of CUMC who were prosecuted for visiting their sister church in 1999; and Ken Greening, who visited Cuba in recent years with Pastors for Peace.

A recent poll showed that 65% of Americans want to maintain the Obama policy changes and that a majority of Republicans favor dropping all travel and trade restrictions. “Some 55 members of the U.S. Senate have sponsored a bill to repeal entirely the restrictions on the right of U.S. people to travel to Cuba, and a recent study projected that if the limited relaxation in U.S. travel and trade restrictions under President Obama are reversed, it will cost the U.S. economy $6.6 billion, and destroy over 12,000 jobs. We need to have further exchange between the people of Cuba and the U.S., for our mutual interests,” stated Milwaukee attorney Arthur Heitzer, who represented the CUMC members and has advised U.S. travelers to Cuba nationally.