Κυριακή 28 Μαρτίου 2021

Letter from Group of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba in the European Parliament to the President of the United States J.Biden


Brussels, 24th March 2021

Honourable President of the United States
Dear Mr. Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr,

Firstly, we would like to warmly congratulate you on your victory in the US presidential election. We, the Members of the Group of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba in the European Parliament, are aware of the aspiration for change on the part of the American people that the presidential elections express. We believe now comes the test of whether there is a real willingness to change, namely by engaging in a constructive bilateral relations with Cuba, respecting one another’s differences.

In a year 2020 marked by the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of outgoing President Donald Trump notably tightened the economic and financial siege imposed on Cuba, through the application of more than two hundred and forty unilateral coercive actions and measures. Nearly half of which constituted concrete blockade actions, which caused countless damages and hardships to the Cuban people.

Moreover, during the last four years of Trump's administration, the US government imposed fines and sanctions against Cuban entities and third countries. It extended laws and proclamations on the blockade. It announced the application of Titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act with serious implications for countries allied with the United States. It pursued the purchase of fuel. Approved the suspension of charter flights between the two countries, except those to Havana. Hindered and prohibited the sending of remittances to Cuba. Included new Cuban entities on the State Department's Restricted List and unjustifiably included Cuba on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, which includes severe limits on foreign investment.

These measures have intensified the crisis generated by decades of sanctions, blockade and attacks on the island’s government contributing to worsening shortages of food and medicine, affecting children, adolescents and families. According to data presented by the Cuban government in its latest report to the United Nations, from April 2019 to March 2020, the blockade has caused losses to Cuba of more than 5.57 billion dollars.

In this context, the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a notable challenge for Cuba. Their efforts to combat it have been significantly limited by the regulations of the US blockade, which has deliberately deprived the Cuban people of access to the supplies needed to manage this disease, to the extent that the Trump administration identified the pandemic as an opportunity to tighten the siege against Cuba. Nevertheless, Cuba, in response to requests received, sent 56 medical brigades of the "Henry Reeve" International Contingent to 40 countries and territories.

Therefore, we welcome the dozens of solidarity events from mass organisations around the world, against the measures by former President Trump, which have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.

In the last days, a letter led by eighty U.S. House of Representatives Democrats have urged you to sign an executive order “without delay” to end restrictions on travel and remittances, noting that well over half of Cubans depend on the latter. Moreover, they asked you to promote a more constructive approach to restart diplomatic engagement on areas of mutual interest like health and security and restaff the U.S. embassy, which was reduced to skeletal staffing under Trump over still unexplained health incidents among U.S. diplomats in Havana. They also call to “reverse the recent politicized decision by the departing Trump Administration to add Cuba back to the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism”.

In our opinion, it is clear that there is still support in your country from a significant part of the American people that demand the normalisation of bilateral relations with Cuba initiated by the Obama administration. Therefore, we urge you to repeal Trump’s cruel sanctions on Cuba, to carry out this process expeditiously and to include elements to repair and reverse the damage and harm caused by the Trump Administration to the relationship with Cuba.

Finally, and in line with the almost unanimous rejection by the international community of the criminal US embargo against Cuba, expressed annually in the votes on the resolution presented by Cuba before the United Nations General Assembly, we would like to request your support for its immediate elimination. There can be no doubt that the economic, commercial and financial blockade applied by the United States against Cuba is the main obstacle to the development of that country and to the normalisation of relations between the two countries.

Your sincerely,

The Members of the Group of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba in the European Parliament[1]


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[1] This Group of Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Cuba in the European Parliament, which has been in existence for more than twenty years, is composed of over forty-five parliamentarians from various political groups and countries.

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