CODEPINK Welcomes the Historic Re-opening of Embassies in the United States and Cuba

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, (415) 235-6517medea@codepink.org

CODEPINK Welcomes the Historic Re-opening of Embassies in the United States and Cuba

CODEPINK calls on Congress to do its part by lifting the embargo

WASHINGTON - The peace group CODEPINK welcomes the July 1 announcement about the historic re-opening of embassies in the United States and Cuba. We view the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between our nations as a crucial step forward to fully normalizing relations. However, despite this encouraging act of diplomacy, more work needs to be done, including lifting the travel ban and the embargo, and returning the Guantanamo Naval Base to the Cuban people.

Although an official US embassy will be housed in Havana with the American flag flying above its gate, American citizens still face restrictions that prohibit them from freely traveling to Cuba. Congress should ignore the few representatives who are opposed to normalization, and immediately pass the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act to allow Americans to travel to Cuba just as they are allowed to travel anywhere else in the world. This should be followed by the passage of the bill to lift the embargo, finally putting to rest the Helms Burton Act that codified the failed American policy of isolation and hostilities.

“The opening the embassies in Havana and Washington is a great and historic step, but everything that President Obama has done can be undone by the next president,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “Congress must now step up and pass the needed legislation to finally put an end to the antiquated policies towards Cuba that have failed for 54 years.”

CODEPINK also calls on the US government to close the prison in Guantanamo and return the Naval Base to the Cuban people.

CODEPINK will host a celebration in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC at 5pmon the day of its official reopening.

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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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