Press Release on Pres. Obama's Trip to Cuba
From: John Oswald (
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]


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

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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