Alignment for Cuba Engagement & Respect
A few weeks ago, we were close to having a legislative win that would have helped provide critical medicine and food supplies to Cuba, as well as help ease the flow of economic support from family members in the United States. Your support in pushing Congress to pay serious attention to the amendments introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush helped move the conversation forward (see here for this Intercept article detailing the backstory). It also led to the creation of an exciting new coalition called ACERE (Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect).
ACERE is a coalition of groups, organizations and individuals (like you!) who support respectful and normalized relations with Cuba, and are interested in pushing Washington to get there. The current members of the steering committee are at the bottom of the letter, and the principles that govern the coalition’s vision and strategy are included below that (and check out this National Interest article mentioning the formation of coalition!).
This coalition will not displace or duplicate other existing efforts, but instead will help channel all the amazing grassroots energy from thousands of organizations and individuals nationwide into an entity that is a force to be reckoned with in the Cuba policy space in DC.
We want to invite you and/or your organization to join ACERE by signing up here (and then follow @AllianceForCuba on Twitter!). Once you fill out the form to confirm your membership in ACERE, you will be added to a listserv for members where we will keep you updated and engaged on how to support DC-focused legislative and administrative initiatives designed to push for a progressive U.S. policy towards Cuba. There is no membership fee, you can leave anytime you want, and there are two levels of membership–one more actively engaged in crafting campaigns targeting policymakers in DC, and another that allows you to engage when those campaigns are announced. We are also open to adding more members to the steering committee, so let us know if you are interested by emailing us at email@example.com.
What is clear more than ever is that NOW is the time to unapologetically push for a Cuba policy that removes the economic chokehold that the U.S. continues to exert. In the middle of a global pandemic and economic downturn, the policy and politics of sanctions are morally reprehensible, illegal and blatantly cruel. It is also a violation of international law to try to cause a famine in another country in order to advance a foreign policy agenda. We hope you will join us.
ACERE Steering Committee
Erik Sperling, Just Foreign Policy
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, National Lawyers Guild
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
Dr. Tamara Lee, Rutgers University
Leonardo Flores, CODEPINK
Angelica Salazar, Cuba Nobel Campaign
Cole Harrison, Massachusetts Peace Action
Jose Pertierra, attorney
Guiding principles and positions
- We support the normalization of relations with Cuba.
- We oppose any policies of the U.S. government designed to increase the economic suffering of the Cuban people or that undermine their political, economic, social and cultural rights in any way.
- We call for a total lifting of the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade (also known as an embargo), including its extra-territorial reach which interferes with trade by third countries with Cuba. Cuba should be free to trade with businesses in the United States and worldwide, and neither U.S. nor foreign businesses or states should face or fear any sanctions or repercussions for engaging in trade with Cuban entities.
- We oppose the restrictions on travel to Cuba and consider them a violation of our First as well as Fifth Amendment rights and a violation of international human rights law.
- We support and encourage increased person-to-person contact between those residing in the U.S. and the Cuban people.
- We actively encourage and promote Black-led bilateral dialogue and work to dismantle artificial barriers to transnational solidarity movements that center and support Black leadership, culture and movements in the U.S. and Cuba.
- We seek to support and empower Cuban-Americans who want to normalize relations with the island.
- We do not presume to tell the Cuban people what form of government or economic system best serves their needs and interests. As a sovereign nation with the right of self-determination, they have a right to determine their own direction and future.
- We oppose unlawful policies, practices and rhetoric that support intervention, whether overt or covert, that undermine the Cuban people’s right to self-determination.
- We are non-partisan and non-sectarian. ACERE is not affiliated with and does not support any political party or candidate.
- The alliance maintains a robust network of organizations engaged in advocacy, education, organizing, community building, mass mobilization and communications that support the principles stated above.
- The alliance advocates in Washington D.C. on behalf of normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba and will share with our members opportunities to advocate for better relations.
- The alliance may share and forward information on activities related to our various policy positions and help organize advocacy efforts to that end.
You can find the link to sign up here.
Categories: Cuban Economy & Co-Ops