July 15, 2021 – TeleSUR
In a letter to President Biden asking for a meeting to discuss U.S – Cuba relations, Representatives Barbara Lee and James P. McGovern said to Biden that “it is imperative that we consider renewed approaches to strengthen diplomatic, people to people, and economic engagement with Cuba.”
Dear President Biden:
We write to request an in-person meeting with you to discuss U.S. relations with Cuba. We believe recent events in Cuba demand immediate attention to help avoid further human suffering. Cubans are now voicing their humanitarian distress via public protests. The United States should immediately permit remittances, food, and vaccination assistance, including the delivery of syringes, to reach Cuba. We should seek to ensure that this humanitarian assistance is delivered without delay.
Ultimately, we believe that re-engaging with Cuba can both help blunt current suffering and be an opportunity for diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian advancement. Given Cuba’s geographic and cultural proximity to the United States, it is imperative that we consider renewed
approaches to strengthen diplomatic, people to people, and economic engagement with Cuba. We also would like to discuss the rationale for keeping Cuba on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, which is an obstacle to providing the humanitarian assistance Cubans need.
Specifically, we also ask you to remove the specific licenses required to send medical supplies to Cuba, lift restrictions on the percentage of U.S.-made material use in foreign produced medical supplies, remove end-use verification for humanitarian imports, lift restrictions and caps on
family and donative remittances, lift restrictions on banking and financial transactions, and remove travel restrictions that prevent this robust and dynamic form of diplomacy from taking place and prevent the Cuban people from receiving necessary humanitarian supplies.
Thank you for the consideration of this request for an in-person meeting to discuss the current humanitarian crisis in Cuba. We look forward to your reply and to working with your Administration on this critical issue.
Member of Congress
James P. McGovern
Member of Congress