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Companies are calling on Biden to implement announced easing for Cuba

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Companies are calling on Biden to implement announced easing for Cuba

Havana. In an unusual letter to US President Joe Biden, 7,867 personalities said they called for a significant easing of the blockade against Cuba and for concrete steps.

Among the signatories are representatives of 181 private companies and trade associations from Cuba and the USA, as well as associations representing several thousand companies and cooperatives with their millions of members.

They point out that a year and a half has passed when many of them sent a letter with a similar request. And it has now been a year since Biden announced several important measures to support Cuba’s private sector. But he didn’t do anything about it.

The current travel restrictions and Cuba’s inclusion on the list of States Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) would severely limit the flow of visitors from the United States and Europe and would have significantly reduced demand for the products, both directly and indirectly. The letter states: “The listing of Cuba on the SSOT list and the measures taken against financial institutions continue to prevent e-payment and e-commerce platforms such as Paypal from providing services to us. The continuation of the coercive measures of the Trump Administration repealing the exemption from Title III of the Helms-Burton Act discourages potential US and international investors in our companies.”

During Biden’s tenure as US vice president, it was clear that a US-Cuba policy that allowed for expansion of travel, telecommunications and banking services would greatly help the Cuban people. In contrast, the senders of the letter consider it “incomprehensible and inhuman that your government – which repeatedly claims to support the Cuban people and the private sector – in the midst of an economic crisis, which is being exacerbated by the current global crisis, (…) largely cruel and failed policies of the Trump era, which directly target our livelihoods and directly and indirectly severely impact our businesses as well.”

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The letter concludes with seven specific demands, including allowing Cuban private companies to conduct financial transactions, allowing U.S. citizens and residents to travel to Cuba, and most importantly, removing Cuba from the SSOT list so that the other demands can be dealt with altogether are reachable.

Meanwhile, two senior US politicians, Jim McGovern and Patrick Leahy, also urged the Boston Globe that “Biden must take Cuba off the terror list” and end “repressive policies” against Cuba. In addition, the US Solidarity Movement, which has more than 100 groups, has launched a campaign also calling for Cuba to be removed from the list.

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