ACERE is a coalition of organizations and individuals that believe that sanctions and economic blockades are not the right answers to resolve conflicts or ideological differences between countries.
Some members work at the grassroots level while others are engaged in advocacy efforts.
Some organizations work inspired by the values of their faith, while others help promote the interests of the business community or are concerned about their right to freely travel to the island.
All members of ACERE uphold the principles of coalition and believe that engagement rather than isolation and intervention is the solution in promoting friendly neighbor relations between the two countries.
Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect
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The Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE) was created in 2020 out of an ad hoc coalition formed to push Congress for an urgent easing of the sanctions against the island — which were tightened by the current Trump administration — to help Cubans confront the economic crisis caused by necessary pandemic response measures.
This experience demonstrated the urgent need for a permanent grassroots coalition focused on impacting policy in DC.
You can read about activists’ effort to ease sanctions on Cuba during that pandemic, which led to the formation of ACERE:
- The National Interest, “Progressives Next Fight: Cuba Sanctions”, July 29, 2020.
- The Intercept, “Congress Put the Brakes on Cuba Relief to Protect Front-Line Democrat”, August 3, 2020.
The acronym ACERE (pronounced ah-seh-reh) is a play on one of the most commonly used words in Cuba — slang for “friend” — and has its origins in the African efik language.
The people of Cuba have long been suffering under an economic blockade by the United States that places restrictions on food, medicine, and even economic support from relatives. President Trump not only reversed President Obama’s move to strengthen relations but further tightened the blockade. After 60 years of failed policy, it is time to demand a different path forward.
ACERE will be a steady presence in Washington that will help channel the energy of thousands of activists across the country to achieve policy change that will end the blockade and promote engagement and mutual respect between the U.S. and Cuba.
ACERE’s mission is to channel grassroots advocacy to progressive policy changes that promote positive and respectful relations between Cuba and the United States.
We support the normalization of relations with Cuba.
- We oppose any policies of the U.S. government designed to increase the economic suffering of the Cuban people or that undermine their political, economic, social and cultural rights in any way.
- We call for a total lifting of the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade (also known as an embargo), including its extra-territorial reach which interferes with trade by third countries with Cuba. Cuba should be free to trade with businesses in the United States and worldwide, and neither U.S. nor foreign businesses or states should face or fear any sanctions or repercussions for engaging in trade with Cuban entities.
- We oppose the restrictions on travel to Cuba and consider them a violation of our First as well as Fifth Amendment rights and a violation of international human rights law.
- We support and encourage increased person-to-person contact between those residing in the U.S. and the Cuban people.
- We actively encourage and promote Black-led bilateral dialogue and work to dismantle artificial barriers to transnational solidarity movements that center and support Black leadership, culture and movements in the U.S. and Cuba.
- We seek to support and empower Cuban-Americans who want to normalize relations with the island.
- We do not presume to tell the Cuban people what form of government or economic system best serves their needs and interests. As a sovereign nation with the right of self-determination, they have a right to determine their own direction and future.
- We oppose unlawful policies, practices and rhetoric that support intervention, whether overt or covert, that undermine the Cuban people’s right to self-determination.
- We are non-partisan and non-sectarian. ACERE is not affiliated with and does not support any political party or candidate.