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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Open letter to Congress opposes Obama's new Cuba policy

Former Diplomats, University Professors, Representatives of Cuba’s Democratic Opposition on the Island and in Exile, and Former Corporate Leaders Write to Congress on President Obama’s New Cuba Policy.

Fifty-eight former diplomats, university professors, leaders of Cuba's democratic opposition on the island and in exile, and former corporate leaders wrote an open letter to Congress objecting to President Obama's efforts to remove the Castros’ regime from the State Department list of governments supportive of terrorism.

The letter: “The New Cuba Policy: Breakthrough or Bailout?,” was distributed on Capitol Hill today and says that “increasing U.S. travel to Cuba under the Castro-manipulated people-to-people program will benefit the military which owns all of Cuba’s hotels and tourist infrastructure.”

Among those signing the appeal to Congress are Paula Dobriansky, former Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, James Cason, former U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay and former Chief of Mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba, Ambassador Phillip Hughes, former Executive Secretary, National Security Council and former U.S. Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, Everett Ellis Briggs, former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, Panama, and Portugal and former President of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

“Removing Cuba from the list of terrorist states will reward the Castro regime for smuggling 240 tons of heavy weapons to North Korea, training and equipping Venezuela’s repressive forces, offering Russia’s Putin an espionage listening post in Cuba, and harboring dozens of fugitive terrorists and criminals, including one of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorists, Assata Shakur,” they said. They added that “Cuba is the only “state-sponsored of terrorism” nation to openly harbor a fugitive on the most-wanted terrorist list.”

The corporate community was represented by: Emilio Alvarez-Recio, former Vicepresident Worldwide Advertising of Colgate-Palmolive, Néstor T. Carbonell, former Vicepresident for International Government Affairs of Pepsico, Ruben Rodriguez-Wallin, former Chairman and CEO of Bacardi, and Alberto Luzarraga, former Chairman of Continental Bank International.

Also signing were Michael Gonzalez, Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, Robert O’Brien, Treasurer, Center for a Free Cuba, and José Sorzano, former Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Two of the signatories: Miriam and Mario de la Peña are parents of Mario M. de la Peña, one of four pilots murdered by Cuban warplanes in international airspace in 1996." "One of the spies exchanged by President Obama was serving a life sentence for his role in those murders," the letter says.  General Raul Castro, then Cuba's Minister of the Armed Forces" ordered the murders and later awarded medals to the officers who pulled the trigger."

The project to raise this issue with the Congress honors the “memory of Manuel Jorge Cutillas and his lifelong dedication to the cause of freedom in Cuba." 

Following is the full text of the letter to the Congress including signatories. The signatories have signed this letter in their personal capacities; they do not reflect the views of their company, organization or university, current or past. Center for Free Cuba is a 501-c3 organization according to the Internal Revenue Service. The Center neither supports nor opposes any legislation before Congress. If you would like to add your name then sign here.


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