Obama and Congress Change Cuba Policy

Received by mail:
From: John McAuliff
Date: 12/03/2009

Dear friends and colleagues, The Obama Administration is undertaking an historic interagency review of US policy on Cuba.  Its conclusions will enable a wide range of executive branch initiatives, affect legislation to end all travel restrictions, and create an important context for the President’s participation in the Summit of the Americas April 17-19.

We are disturbed that Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ) boasted on Miami TV that

  • the only thing the administration is going to allow is a roll back to Clinton era family travel and if it came down to listening to Senator Lugar (who has called for broad reconsideration of US policy) or him and others in the Cuban American community, Obama would listen to him and the others.

The Miami Herald reported how uncertain things really are

  • “Cuba watchers say it’s unclear whether [the President] will lift restrictions not just for Cuban Americans, but for American academics, church groups and others as well.”

We urge you, in the unprecedented participatory spirit of this Administration, to join us in an ad hoc nationwide effort to contribute to its deliberations, and to share this message as widely as possible.

We suggest you convey your personalized and expanded version of the following message to Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Public Liaison, via her web page here.

  • “As a first step to improve relations between the US and Cuba, the President should use his existing authority to provide general licenses for unlimited travel by Cuban Americans (as promised during the campaign) and for non-tourist people to people exchanges, including for educational, religious, humanitarian, cultural, and sports purposes”.

It’s also very useful to send a similar message in letters to local newspapers and to Thomas Shannon, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520, or by fax to 202-647-7095, with copies to the organization that sent you this appeal …

… (Please forward this newsletter …  If you copy and paste our Appeal to your own lists, please insert Valarie Jarrett’s web page address above).

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