Cuba: one-year anniversary of US and Cuba beginning normalization
From: MN Cuba (mncubagmail.com)
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2015 07:09:26 -0800 (PST)
NEWS RELEASE

Minnesota Cuba Committee <http://www.minnesotacubacommittee.org>
December 16, 2015
For immediate release
For questions and interviews contact August Nimtz 612-354-7463,
animtz [at] umn.edu

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ANNOUNCEMENT OF US AND CUBA DECISION ON NORMALIZING
RELATIONS OBSERVED

A year ago on December 17 both President Castro and President Obama
announced the decision to begin the process of normalizing relations
between Cuba and the United States. With this announcement, President Obama
acknowledged the United States policy aimed at destroying the Cuban
revolution has failed. Since then 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 the rhetoric of President Obama, 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. Polls show the majority of
the American Public does not agree that the United States government should
continue with its 54-year-old failed policy to destroy the Cuban
Revolution. This December 17, the American public again demands that the
United States lift its illegal blockade and respect the sovereignty and
self-determination of the Cuban people.
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