Presbyterians USA join 20 faith groups calling for a change in US-Cuba policy

May 9th, 2024

Dear President Biden,

We write to express our deep concern regarding the plight of the Cuban people.   The combined effects of failed U.S. foreign policies and Cuban economic policies have created dire humanitarian conditions on the island. It is crucial for your administration to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and expedite the processing of assistance from humanitarian organizations. These steps will not only save lives but also advance the stated goals of U.S. foreign policy to uphold human rights.

Reinstating Cuba on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List (SST) was a gross mistake and has had a hugely detrimental effect on the Cuban people and the ability of our partners to serve them. This decision has led banks, financial institutions, and international suppliers to withdraw support for regular trade and collaboration with religious groups providing humanitarian aid in Cuba. As a result, the ability of our denominations and faith-based organizations to offer crucial assistance and financial aid to Cuban partners has been severely limited, with financial institutions freezing funds allocated for religious and humanitarian activities. In many cases, the religious activities general license is not recognized by third parties, nor do the current licensing procedures resolve the market risk issues that financial institutions and suppliers say they must consider beyond the legalities of acquiring appropriate licensing. Being on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list creates obstacles that our religious and humanitarian status cannot overcome for third-party agents.

The ongoing designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism aggravated Cuba’s existing economic problems, led to increased migration, and hindered private-sector investment, causing setbacks for businesses that thrived under the Obama-Biden administration. The current U.S. stance has also hampered the entrepreneurial endeavors of ordinary Cubans and disrupted the public economy, which supports essential medical and social welfare programs. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of Cubans have been forced to sell their belongings and undertake dangerous journeys to reach the United States via the Southwest border. Our current policy towards Cuba is a significant factor driving this migration trend.

The current U.S. policy of strangling Cuban society with an economic embargo to force them to overthrow their government is morally unacceptable and antithetical to our faith, as well as basic human rights principles. We urge you to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and take steps toward ending the economic embargo and normalizing relations with Cuba. Let us stand together to relieve the suffering of the Cuban people, help them to prosper in their own country, and seek to include them fully in the family of nations.


Alliance of Baptists

American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America ~Bautistas por la Paz

Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy

Church World Service

Cuba Partners Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Disciples Center for Public Witness (Disciples of Christ)

The Episcopal Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Florida Council of Churches

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ

Latin America Working Group

Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

National Council of Churches

North Carolina Council of Churches

Pax Christi USA

Presbyterian Church (USA)

United Church of Christ

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

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