Friday, September 5, 2008

Democracy Movement's Petition

Below, I'm posting the Democracy Movement's petition calling for a moratorium on US travel and remittances to Cuba. This petition mostly applies to Cuban families in exile, but provides details on the restrictions currently in place, which some might find informative.

Furthermore, you can click here and see the entire petition which provides the e-mail addresses to the US President, Vice President and Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez. Democracy Movement is asking everyone to e-mail (or mail) this petition, and send back copies.


Dear Mr. President:

This is an urgent appeal to your conscience regarding the dire conditions facing the Cuban People due to the devastation caused by hurricane Gustav and how a humanitarian gesture on your part, temporarily easing some of the restrictions against Cuba, could also help ease the suffering of its people by allowing them to receive more direct help from Cuban exiles in the United States.

Mr. President, we urge you to consider ordering, at least, a 30 to 60 days emergency moratorium on the limitations on remittances, gift parcels, travel and baggage to Cuba as follows:

1. Rescind or temporarily waive the 'direct relative' classification on remittances from exiles to people in the Island required by your 2004 Cuba policy sanctions. (As you may know, in our culture, sometimes a cousin may be regarded as a brother and an aunt may be revered as a grandmother);

2. Rescind or temporarily waive limitations on gift parcels so that they may include clothing, soap and other essential items that were allowed prior to the 2004 restrictions;

3. Rescind or temporarily waive the three year from the last trip restriction on travel visits to Cuba so that Cuban exiles can visit their loved ones affected by the hurricane and take with them some help;

4. Rescind or temporarily waive the pounds limitation of baggage to allow more aid to reach the Island.

In as much as we oppose any type of relief that may be used by Castro to further oppress his people, we encourage direct help to the Cuban People--especially in times of tragedy. From a US perspective, a positive response in the fashion requested herein can also favor the principal objective of U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba of reducing the potential for a massive exodus of rafters to Florida shores.

We trust that you will give this request your full consideration in an expedited manner so that help can begin to flow legally as soon as possible. Certainly, both the Cuban People in exile and in the Island will remain grateful to you should you find merit in this humanitarian request.