President Biden: Listen to the world & end the Cuba embargo!
This will be the 30th consecutive vote in which the global community will once again unite to condemn the cruel, unjust, and illegal U.S. blockade against Cuba and once again, the U.S. will stand alone.
Join us in telling President Biden and U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, to move toward normalizing relations with Cuba and end the blockade! Tell them to abstain from voting as an indication that the administration intends to start improving relations with Cuba!
Only once did the U.S. not vote against the resolution. It abstained in 2016 as part of the Obama administration’s policy of rapprochement with Cuba. Samantha Power, then U.S. ambassador to the UN, rightly recognized the ineffectiveness of the embargo. In her speech to the General Assembly she argued, “Instead of isolating Cuba, our policy isolated the United States.”
Join us in telling President Biden to listen to the world community, lift the Trump sanctions, end the blockade and normalize relations with Cuba!
President Joseph Biden
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C. 20006
Cc. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Mission to the UN
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dear President Biden and Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
We are writing to express our concern that your administration has taken almost no steps towards normalizing relations with Cuba, even though most of the previous administration’s policy changes can be reversed with a single executive order. On November 2-3, the U.N. General Assembly will vote to condemn the United States’ embargo on Cuba and call for it to be lifted, as it has done consistently since 1992. We urge you to take the opportunity created by the upcoming vote -- an event that typically leaves the U.S. isolated -- to follow President Obama’s example by abstaining from the vote and to use the occasion to announce the measures your administration is taking to normalize relations with Cuba.
As you are certainly aware, during President Trump’s time in office, he reversed the gains made by the Obama-Biden administration in normalizing relations with Cuba, adding over 200 restrictive measures that have severely affected the wellbeing of the Cuban people.
So far, your administration has done little to reverse these harmful Trump policies, which continue to harm millions of Cubans, including by undercutting Cuba’s budding private sector.
The upcoming U.N. vote calling for an end to the U.S. economic, trade, and financial embargo against Cuba will once again show the global repudiation of these harmful restrictions on Cuba, especially as Cuba is still recovering from the economic consequences of the pandemic and a natural disaster. The resolution will include language opposing the embargo’s extraterritorial application, which has impaired the ability of even third-country humanitarian efforts to supply assistance to Cuba, including helping rebuild in the aftermath of hurricane Ian. It will also denounce the embargo’s extraterritorial sanctions regime that blocks trade with third countries by imposing huge fines of billions of dollars, including on European banks, for assisting customers with non-military, purely commercial trade with Cuba.
Every year, nearly every country in the U.N. votes to support the resolution and against the U.S.-imposed embargo. In 2016, the Obama administration broke with 25 years of United States’ opposition to the resolution by abstaining on the UN vote, showing the world that the U.S. understood the need to lift the embargo. We call on you to follow President Obama’s lead by not opposing this year’s U.N. resolution, and instead to use the occasion to announce the measures that your administration will take - consistent with your pre-election promises and the results of your review of the impact of sanctions on COVID-19 response -- to provide relief for the Cuban people and return to the path of normalization in our relationship with Cuba.