Letter sent to Biden by former Latin American Presidents

November 2nd, 2022
President of the United States of America
Washington, DC
Dear President Biden,
In our capacity as former presidents and former prime ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean, we write to you to express our deep concern regarding the precarious situation that the Cuban people are living through today as they suffer shortages of medicine and humanitarian aid as well as restrictions on financial services, tourism, and foreign investment. All of the above have been aggravated by the devastating damage caused recently by Hurricane Ian.
We ask you, Mr. President, to take into account this dramatic situation that thousands of Cubans are experiencing and to do whatever is necessary to lift those restrictions that affect the most vulnerable. For the same reasons, Cuba also deserves to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism and return to the rapprochement that the Obama administration embarked on in 2014 when you served as Vice President.
Limitations on travel, remittances and donations from the United States have harmful
consequences not only for those who live on the island but also for Cuban Americans who are denied the right to visit their relatives. The impediments to tourism and foreign expenditure limit the possibilities of economic recovery when Cuba, like all the other countries in the region, is seeking to overcome the impact of the severe crisis caused by the pandemic.
We would like to remind you, Mr. President, that when a natural disaster hit the US
population with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cuba was one of the first countries to offer
medical assistance with the Henry Reeve brigades. In the face of tremendous humanitarian needs which disproportionately impact marginalized communities, that example of solidarity could be reciprocated towards Cuba by the United States government.
Not long ago, former President Barack Obama questioned the success of the comprehensive sanctions against Cuba. Although they have since been reestablished, nothing prevents a return to the diplomatic process that led to a new era of relations between the United States with Latin America and the Caribbean that we celebrate in our countries. You, Mr.
President, were part of that dialogue that opened a virtuous chapter in hemispheric
relations and now enjoy the political authority to advance towards its resurrection.
For this to be possible, it is essential that the State Department remove Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, to which it was added due to its strict compliance as formal guarantors with protocols established by the Colombian state in peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) hosted in Havana. Cuba’s deep commitment to international cooperation and the strict fulfillment of its commitments is a clear demonstration of the country’s adherence to values that have no relation to terrorism.
In consideration of all of the above, we ask you to take into account the message that has emerged from various sectors of civil society in the region to not return to the
pre-pandemic world, to overcome the current difficult situation that threatens peace in the world, and to ratify the condition of Latin America and the Caribbean as a space of peace on the planet.
History will recognize this humanitarian gesture with the people of Cuba.
With our most sincere regards,
We sign:
1. Dilma Rousseff, Former president of Brazil
2. Pepe Mujica, former president of Uruguay
3. Ernesto Samper, former president of Colombia
4. Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia
5. Evo Morales, former president of Bolivia
6. Martin Torrijos, former president of Panamá
7. Rafael Correa, former president of Ecuador
8. Vinicio Cerezo, former president of Guatemala
9. Leonel Fernández, former president of the Dominican Republic
10. Keith Mitchell, former prime minister of Granada
11. Kenny Anthony, former prime minister of Saint Lucia
12. David Granger, former president of Guyana
13. Moses Nagamootoo, former prime minister of Guyana
14. Donald Ramotar, former president of Guyana
15. Percival James Patterson, former prime minister of Jamaica
16. Said Musa, former prime minister of Belize
17. Winston Baldwin Spencer, former prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda
18. Dean Barrow, former prime minister of Belize

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