EspañolAn unprecedented group of 44 policy reform advocates and former US officials penned an open letter to President Barack Obama urging the White House to ease travel restrictions to Cuba for US citizens and back the island’s civil society in their struggle against the Castro regime.
The letter, released on Monday, was signed by several former senior State Department officials and prominent Cuban Americans, including the Director of National Intelligence under President George W. Bush, John Negroponte, and retired admiral and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, James Stavridis.
The document also asks the White House to engage in “serious discussions” with the Cuban government on security and humanitarian issues. This is the latest sign of increased pressure on the Obama administration to soften the Cold-War era policy on Cuba.
Supporters of maintaining strict sanctions against Cuba were quick to reject the proposals. “History has proven that Castro only eases economic measures when he’s forced to, not as a ‘good-will’ measure,” said Mauricio Claver-Carone, director of the influential US-Cuba Democracy PAC.
The letter comes after a February survey showed most US citizens favor easing sanctions on Cuba, which have been in place for five decades.