WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
23 Sep 2008 | News

Support Legislation on Humanitarian Aid to Cuba

Congressional Action

In response to the great humanitarian need in Cuba in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, members of both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that seeks to remove the restrictions on Cuban-American family travel to Cuba, and the sending of remittances.

In the Senate, Senator Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Lugar (R-IN) are co-sponsoring S.3001, "The Humanitarian Relief to Cuba Act," which would, for a period of 180 days, do the following

  • Remove current restrictions on the ability of Cuban-Americans to visit family members in Cuba
  • Ease restrictions on cash remittances by any American to individuals in Cuba
  • Expand the list of items permissible to send as gift parcels to the Cuban people
  • Allow for the cash sale of agricultural products, and certain reconstruction materials to people in Cuba

Similar legislation of the same name has been introduced in the House by Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Their bill, H.R. 6962. calls for the easing of restrictions on travel and sending of remittances to Cuba for a period of 180 days. 

Numerous members of Congress, and others, have also urged President Bush to end or suspend the current restrictions on American citizens’ ability to travel, and send remittances and materials to Cuba in the wake of the impending humanitarian crisis on the island.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Berman (D-CA) , Senator Obama (D-IL) , Representative Serrano (D-NY) , Representative Flake (R-AZ) and others, including Francis Cardinal George, OMI, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, all agree that American citizens should be able to provide unlimited emergency assistance to the Cuban people

If you agree that Americans should be able to assist the Cuban people in this time of urgent need, please take action now by contacing your Representatives in Congress and voicing your support for "The Humanitarian Relief to Cuba Act," in the House and the Senate.