As Americans, we believe in the transformative power of a pluralist democracy, human rights and open markets to foster freedom and prosperity in Cuba. However, these values cannot be forced from abroad, they can only be born from the demands of the Cuban people themselves. The best way for us to promote these values in Cuba is by allowing Americans to engage with the Cuban people, and giving them the freedom to connect, speak out and serve as catalysts for meaningful change in Cuban society.
“People abroad should support the nascent sector of private micro businesses known as ‘self employment,’” because “economic autonomy is political autonomy.” Yoani Sanchez, Democracy Advocate and Cuban Blogger
To that end, we believe that the all-or-nothing approach of current US-Cuba policy is not only counterproductive, but has failed to advance its own stated goals. Our policy toward Cuba should simultaneously seek to empower the Cuban people, pressure the Cuban government over over on-going human rights violations, and advance U.S. national interests throughout our hemisphere.
We seek to foster dialogue between stakeholders, social entrepreneurs, and community leaders, helping them envision a better future and empowering them to act on what’s possible. We respect diversity of opinions and encourage different viewpoints. We believe we can disagree without being disagreeable, and that we should encourage one another to speak out on what we believe. We believe there is no better way to influence Cuba’s future than by playing a direct and constructive role in its present. Helping the Cuban people today will ultimately empower them to create their own freedom.