Today the Cuba Study Group released a groundbreaking white paper that calls for the de-codification of the embargo by repealing the Helms Burton law, and to put back Cuba policy in the hands of the Executive branch. It also includes eleven measures that the Executive can, and should, implement right now.
“De-codifying the embargo would allow the Executive Branch the flexibility to use the entire range of foreign policy tools at its disposal –including diplomatic, economic, political, legal and cultural– to incentivize change in Cuba. The President would be free to adopt more efficient, targeted policies necessary for pressuring the Cuban leadership to respect human rights and implement political reforms, while simultaneously empowering all other sectors of society to purse their economic wellbeing and become the authors of their own futures,”
Why is this a game changer? Because this is the leading Cuban American organization, with a respected leadership and membership that includes a who’s who of the Cuban community. It’s another strong sign of how much the mainstream Cuban American community has shifted towards advocating for a rational Cuba policy that benefits the people of Cuba, instead of focusing on ineffective punitive measures that aren’t felt by the elite in the island.
This paper comes at a crucial time, when momentum is rising towards a change in policy: the Kerry and Hagel nominations, the immigration reform in Cuba that so far is exceeding expectations, including Yoani’s trip, the current visit by five Senators and three Congressmen to Havana, and Senator Menendez, usually the biggest obstacle to a policy change, bogged down by problems of his own.
Read the full paper here.