|Press Release on Pres. Obama's Trip to Cuba||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: John Oswald (john.w.oswaldgmail.com)|
|Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 13:39:22 -0700 (PDT)|
Minnesota Cuba Committee March 16, 2015 For immediate release For questions and interviews contact August Nimtz 612-354-7463, animtz [at] umn.edu *PRESIDENT OBAMA’S TRIP TO CUBA: AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE U.S. – CUBA RELATIONS* President Obama will travel to Cuba on March 21-22, a historic visit in support of his and President Raul Castro’s declarations made on December 17, 2014, to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States. Embassies have been opened in both countries, Cuba was removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and ongoing dialogue between the two countries has taken place. Despite President Obama’s trip, the same U.S. policies of the economic, commercial and financial blockade continue to be enforced; the right of the U.S. people to travel without restrictions to Cuba continues to be denied; opportunities for Cuban citizens to travel to the United States in order to participate in conferences and other cooperative activities are impeded by the denial or delay of visa requests; regime change programs continue to operate with full funding and support of U. S. Congress; the establishment of bi-lateral trade and commerce has not taken place; the United States has imposed multi-million dollar fines on financial institutions doing business in Cuba; the “wet foot/dry foot” immigration policy continues; and inexplicably, humanitarian organization IFCO/Pastors for Peace is again being harassed and threatened by the Department of Treasury. As clearly demonstrated by the October 2015 vote in the United Nations, the United States remains isolated from the rest of the world in its policy toward Cuba. Congress has failed to act and, to date President Obama has not utilized executive authority to lift certain provisions of the blockade. For example, President Obama has the powers of the executive branch to close the prison at Guantanamo and additionally return the illegally occupied territory to Cuba. The Minnesota Cuba Committee believes there is much more that can be done utilizing executive authority. In an March 9th editorial of Granma newspaper, it was stated: “The Cuban people hope that the U.S. President’s visit will serve to consolidate his will to be actively involved in a thorough debate in Congress for the lifting of the blockade, and, in the meantime, that he continues to use his executive prerogatives to modify as much as possible its application, without the need for legislative action. At the same time, Raul Castro has said, “We will not renounce our ideals of independence and social justice, or surrender even a single one of our principles, or concede a millimeter in the defense of our national sovereignty. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Minnesota Cuba Committee is sponsoring the following forum as a result of President Obama’s trip. *After Obama’s trip: Cuba today and the future of U.S. – Cuba relations* Saturday, March 26, 1:00 pm Plymouth Congregational Church, Jackman Room, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
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