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#CubaNow Launches Petition and Full-Page Ad in POLITICO on Unprecedented Letter Calling on President to Support Cuban Civil Society


May 20, 2014

Contact: Ric Herrero – (305) 905-9452

#CubaNow Launches Petition and Full-Page Ad in POLITICO on Unprecedented Letter Calling on President to Support Cuban Civil Society

44 signers published the letter on Monday, including statesmen from both parties, former Obama Administration officials, diplomats, and community leaders

WASHINGTON - #CubaNow today launched a full-page ad in POLITICO, one of the most influential publications in Washington, DC, highlighting an unprecedented and historic letter calling on President Obama to support Cuban civil society. #CubaNow is also inviting readers to sign the letter themselves through a petition page at

The letter was unveiled on Monday by a diverse coalition, and features 44 signers including highly regarded former diplomats who have served in both Republican and Democratic Administrations, former Members of Congress and Administration officials, and prominent Cuban Americans and business leaders.

The full-page advertisement in POLITICO includes the full text of the letter, as well as the impressive list of signers. The signers include statesmen from both parties such as former Ambassadors John Negroponte, Strobe Talbott, and Thomas Pickering, as well as highly regarded former Members of Congress like Jane Harman and Lee Hamilton. Former Obama Cabinet Secretaries Ken Salazar and Hilda Solis, as well as former EPA Administrator Carol Browner are also signers. Three former Assistant Secretaries of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs also signed the letter, including Alexander Watson, Jeffrey Davidow, and Arturo Valenzuela. The impressive list also includes former Chiefs of the U.S. Mission to Cuba for Republican and Democratic Administrations, and prominent Cuban Americans and business leaders like Mike Fernandez, Jorge Pérez and Andres Fanjul.

“This letter gets it right,” said Ric Herrero, Executive Director of #CubaNow, “we can both help the Cuban people while continuing to pressure the Cuban government to respect human rights. There’s a unique window of opportunity for President Obama to do that by taking further steps like those he first took five years ago that can strike the right balance in support of Cuban civil society, while advancing America’s best interests.”

The letter specifically calls on the President to expand and safeguard purposeful travel to Cuba for all Americans; to increase support for Cuban civil society including allowing more telecommunications equipment to reach the island; and prioritizing principled engagement that creates greater points of contact, including to help secure the release of Alan Gross, the former USAID contractor jailed by the Cuban government.