Action Alerts

Will President Obama Firm Up His Commitment to Engage with Cuba?


U.S. policy towards Cuba has its place in the hot seat again. If you recall last April, USAID, (United States Agency for International Development) was confronted about an allegedly covert program to develop a Cuban version of Twitter, named “ZunZuneo,” in hopes of inciting protests and demonstrations in Cuba. While we thought this program was bad enough, it gets worse. On Monday, Associated Press reported that a USAID program in Cuba secretly used an HIV-prevention workshop for political activism on the island. “Beginning in late 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development deployed nearly a dozen young people from Latin America to Cuba to recruit political activists, an Associated Press investigation found. The operation put the foreigners in danger not long after a U.S. contractor [Alan Gross] was hauled away to a Cuban jail.”
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Cuban-American Miami is Not What is Used to Be


Florida International University released a new pollFIU 2014 poll on Tuesday that surveyed how Cuban Americans in Miami view U.S. policies towards Cuba. Over the past few years we have seen poll after poll show the changing opinion of the majority of Cuban Americans—who now favor engagement with the Cuban government and a change in U.S. policy. FIU's latest poll blows all the other polls out of the water. The most impressive finding from the poll is the clear shift of younger Cuban Americans, ages 18-29, who present an even larger majority in favor of engagement and U.S. policy change towards Cuba.
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Alberto Gonzalez was "Born to Translate Cuba"


Born to translate CubaIf any of you have had the opportunity to travel to Cuba with LAWG or our partner organization, Witness for Peace, or had any interactions with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Marianao/Havana, then you have probably had the distinct pleasure of meeting Alberto Gonzalez, an interpreter for the MLK Jr. Center. Besides being the best Cuban interpreter we have ever run across, Alberto has become the friend of many who have learned from him. He's written a memoir, and we'd love to share with you how you can get it. Alberto is the same age as the Cuban revolution; his book is written from that perspective, and it is as lively and filled with humorous stories as is Alberto himself. The memoir, Born to Translate Cuba, is newly printed and available on Amazon.com. You can order it here.

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Tell President Obama to Take Action on Alan Gross

Tell President Obama to Take Immediate Action to Secure Alan Gross' Release

Alan Gross has been a name related to any talk about Cuba on Capitol Hill since his incarceration in December 2009. He was arrested in Cuba for attempting to establish a military-style satellite internet connection for Cubans on the island without permission from the Cuban government.  At the time, Alan Gross was working for Development Alternatives Inc, a company that received a grant from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for “democracy promotion” programs in Cuba. The Cuban government charged Alan with committing crimes against the state for carrying out the “subversive USAID program” and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. In light of the most recent “Cuban Twitter” fiasco with USAID’s Cuban democracy promotion programs, it only remains clearer that democracy promotion programs in Cuba are unsuccessful and a waste of tax-payer dollars.

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Overwhelming Support of Cuba Policy Change Reflected in New Poll

Atlantic_Council_US_CUBA_2014_POLL
Today the supremacy of Florida in U.S.-Cuba policy and in national politics has been debunked. With the release of a new Atlantic Council national poll the following findings were made:

(1)    56 percent of Americans and over 60 percent of Floridians and Latinos favor changing U.S. policy toward Cuba;
(2)    Not only are Floridians more willing than a supportive nation for change, but they strongly favor normalization by eight percentage points more than the country as a whole;
(3)    Support for engagement is strongest among Democrats (60 percent), but the majority of Republicans also support change (52 percent);
(4)    More than six in ten people want all economic restrictions lifted;
(5)    61 percent nationally and 67 percent of Floridians favor removing all restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens; Latinos weigh in at 66 percent;
(6)    77 percent of Americans favor diplomatic coordination between the United States and Cuba on issues of mutual concern; 82 percent of Floridians favor this;
(7)    61 percent of U.S. citizens nationally, and 67 percent of Floridians, do not think Cuba belongs on the U.S. terrorism list.

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Today the Embargo on Cuba Turns 52 years old

On February 7th, 1962 President John F. Kennedy laid the groundwork for the infamous economic embargo on Cuba. As a result of the Cuban government nationalizing some U.S. companies and becoming buddies with the former Soviet Union, President Kennedy slapped trade sanctions on Cuba prohibiting the importation of any Cuban goods. The following year, 1963, the embargo was tightened to include penalties that prohibited foreign companies that traded with Cuba to also trade with the United States. The ban on travel for U.S. citizens was also implemented that year. While a whole lot has changed since 1962, the embargo on Cuba remains the same.

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Did You See the Handshake? Send Obama your Thanks!


A handshake has captured the attention of the world. The audience that focuses on U.S.-Cuba relations has welcomed the positive gesture made by President Obama to President Castro yesterday at Nelson Mandela's memorial service. While this ordinarily wouldn't have been such a noteworthy action of civility, the media has highlighted the handshake as indicative of the possibility for a new relationship between the United States and Cuba.

Tell the President "Thank You" and to follow up on his handshake with dialogue.

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