Building Just U.S. and Cuban Relations
Despite consistent calls by the Cuban Council of Churches, Cuban Catholic Bishops, the World Council of Churches, the Vatican, and the U.S. Catholic Bishops to end the 45-year old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, the United States continues this failed anachronistic policy.
Cuban Religious Leaders Urge Increased Dialogue
In spring of 2009, President Obama restored the rights of Cuban Americans to visit the island. However, travel restrictions for the average US citizen remain in place and it is the only country the US government forbids most of its citizens from traveling to. Nonetheless, religious and community leaders in Cuba continue to urge the people of the United States to visit them to break the isolation between our two peoples, dialogue about U.S.-Cuba relations, and work improved relations between our nations in the future.
In response to these appeals for direct visits, CRLN has organized five delegations to Cuba between 1996 and 2003. Two of these delegations were co-sponsored by the Illinois Conference of Churches; another by the Chicago Presbytery of Presbyterian Church (USA). Our delegations have twice met in Havana with Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who emphasized that ending the embargo is the most important action faith communities could take to relieve suffering in Cuba. In March 2004, CRLN also hosted the President and Vice President of the Cuban Council of Churches - both women - for dinner with a dozen religious leaders in Chicago to seek their guidance in our work.
New Travel Restrictions, Bar Family and Church Visits
CRLN will work to end the unjust U.S. trade embargo and travel restrictions to Cuba and demand more just policies towards Cuba. Currently, there is legislation pending in the House of Representatives that would end travel restrictions, as well as open up agricultural sales to farmers in the US. Click the link below for more information on HR 4645 and what you can do to help.