MIAMI, Aug. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The board of directors of the Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana, together with Rosa María Payá and City of Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez, sent a letter, found below, on Friday, August 14, to twenty-seven members of the United States Congress, including Bernie Sanders and Karen Bass. The letter was written to request their support in obtaining the release of humanitarian aid sent to Cuba, specifically following a letter they sent to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. The aid has been arbitrarily withheld by the authorities of the Cuban regime on the Island, despite the serious crisis that the country is facing. The letter to the members of Congress is signed by more than 30 citizens, churches and organizations of the United States and Cuba involved in the Solidarity among Brothers effort as organizers or recipients.
Our letter follows:
August 14, 2020
Dear Congress member,
We are U.S. and Cuban citizens who appreciate the interest you have recently expressed in the “health and safety of not only Cubans but Americans and others in the Caribbean region,” in a letter to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, signed in May 2020 by 27 members of the U.S. Senate and the House, including yourself.
Taking your words into consideration, we urge you to support the demand that all the humanitarian aid we collected in the United States in May 2020, which was later sent to Cuba with the help of Christian churches through regular channels, be delivered immediately and without further governmental intervention to its legitimate recipients in Cuba. This aid has been arbitrarily detained by the Cuban authorities upon its arrival to the Island.
In the hopes of mitigating the impact of the crisis being suffered by the Cuban people, aggravated by COVID-19, we, along with hundreds of other citizens, contributed to the donation drive Solidaridad Entre Hermanos / Solidarity Among Brothers, in Miami, Florida, where thousands of pounds of humanitarian aid were collected in May 2020. This effort was conducted with the intention to provide as many products as possible to our brothers and sisters in Cuba, so that the most vulnerable families can maintain appropriate hygiene, as well as feed themselves substantially, during the current crisis. At least 15,000 Cuban families managed to register to receive this assistance on our website, despite having to bypass the cyber-attacks by Cuban authorities.
Cuba is in crisis. The rule of the single-party communist government, that exerts centralized control upon all aspects of Cuban society, has not only caused a dire humanitarian crisis, but has also increased political repression. Every day, due to the shortages of food and basic needs, the people of Cuba must stand in long lines, which eventually become crowds, in order to buy whatever is offered by the Cuban State, making it impossible to take safety measures against the Coronavirus pandemic. To make matters worse, the Cuban State is now selling several basic-need products in hard currency, making it impossible for the majority of Cuban families to have access to them given that all salaries are paid in national currency.
As Cubans of the diaspora, our ability to directly help our families in Cuba should be without restrictions from any government. In the spirit of your statements in the aforementioned letter, which emphasizes that government interference with humanitarian efforts like ours is “dangerous and contrary to our longstanding tradition of not politicizing the delivery of humanitarian aid,” we hope to have your support in our efforts to deliver these goods to their rightful recipients, since “in such an unprecedented emergency caused by a deadly virus that is so easily transmissible, public health and safety must take precedence.”
This initiative is not of a political nature, but it is a people-to-people humanitarian effort, which was not met with any obstacles from the U.S. State Department. It is in this regard that we call upon you to use your influential platform in order to stay true to your words as government officials, and to please demand that the supplies provided by Solidaridad Entre Hermanos / Solidarity Among Brothers, which have been detained by the Cuban authorities―despite the fact that we fully complied with the Cuban law―be immediately released and delivered to their rightful recipients.
Specifically, our request is that you support us in demanding the Cuban State to:
- Remove all arbitrary barriers that are being imposed to prevent the delivery of the goods;
- and allow the members of the church community, the rightful owners of the goods, as well as other people of good will in Cuban civil society, to distribute the humanitarian assistance without interference.
I appreciate your assistance and request that you please send a response if you are able to help us with this critical issue during these trying times.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration of this request.
Dr. Omar Vento, Rosa María Payá & Victor Pujals
Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana
Mayor of Miami, Florida
Miami FL USA
Berta Soler – Damas de Blanco, La Habana, Cuba (Ladies in White)
José Daniel Ferrer – Unión Patriótica de Cuba, Promotores de Cuba Decide, Cuba
Ramón Saúl Sánchez – Movimiento Democracia, Miami FL, US
Alexander Otaola – Influencer, Miami, US
José Díaz Silva – Mov. Opositores por una Nueva República, Promotores de Cuba Decide, Cuba
Ángel J. Moya Acosta – Movimiento Libertad Democrática por Cuba, Cuba
Félix Navarro – Partido por la Democracia Pedro Luis Boitel, Promotores Cuba Decide, Cuba
Víctor M. Dueñas Otero – Grupo de apoyo a Cuba Decide, Países Bajos
Rev. Cristina María Rodríguez Pentón – Representante en Cuba del Ministerio Internacional “De Mujer a Mujer”
Rev. Dayixys Ávila Herrera – Iglesia “Mi Viña”, Santa Clara, Cuba
Rabbi Olaine Tejeda Beltrán – Líder de la comunidad judía Bnei Anusim, Nuevitas, Camagüey, Cuba
Rev. Daniel Josué Pérez Naranjo – Presidente Iglesias Bautistas Misión Bereana, Cuba
Rev. Yoel Demetrio Aspron Morales – Presidente Iglesia Misionera en Cuba
Rev. Yilber Durant Domínguez – Ministerio “Fuego y Dinámica”, Nuevitas, Camagüey, Cuba
Rev. Mario Jorge Travieso Medina – Ministerio “Viento Recio”, Las Tunas, Cuba
Rev. Bernardo de Quesada Salomón – Ministerio “Fuego y Dinámica”, Camagüey, Cuba
Rev. Jorge Luis Pérez Vázquez – Ministerio Rehobot, El Cristo, Santiago de Cuba
Rev. Alayn Toledano Valiente – Ministerio “Sendas de Justicia”, Santiago de Cuba
Rev. Alejandro Hernández Cepero – Ministerio Bet-El-Shalom, Guanabacoa, La Habana, Cuba
Guillermo del Sol Pérez – Periodista, Santa Clara, Cuba
José G. Barrenechea, Ateos y Humanistas, Encrucijada, Villa Clara
María Cristina Labrada Varona – Damas de Blanco, La Habana, Cuba
Oylín Hernández Rodríguez – Damas de Blanco, Cuba
Lourdes Esquivel Vieto – Damas de Blanco & MONR, La Habana, Cuba
Yamile Barges Hurtado – Damas de Blanco, Cuba
Frank Calzon, Washington DC, US
Imán José Alberto Martínez Rodríguez – Asociación Islámica para la divulgación del Islam, Holguín, Cuba
Imán Niovel Alexander Tamayo Formen – Asociación Islámica para la divulgación del Islam, La Habana, Cuba
SOURCE Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana