The Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE) urges all concerned individuals and organizations to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to vote NO on H.R. 314, the FORCE Act.
This bill would tie the hands of the President and the Secretary of State by preventing them from removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List until political demands for a transitional government unrelated to combating terrorism are met. This is an unfair and unjust burden on the people of Cuba, who have suffered under the weight of these sanctions for far too long.
Furthermore, the primary reason for Cuba’s inclusion on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, its alleged refusal to extradite members of the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) of Colombia, is no longer relevant as the new president of Colombia has re-initiated peace talks with the ELN, dropped the extradition request and requested that Cuba be removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
The other reason for Cuba being on the list is that it harbors fugitives from the U.S. criminal justice system, which is also unjustified. None of these Americans residing in Cuba for over three decades meet the requirements for inclusion on the list, as they have not been convicted of crimes related to international terrorism. On the contrary, Cuba has made significant efforts to combat terrorism and has ratified numerous international counterterrorism conventions, including a bilateral agreement with the United States on counterterrorism.
Passage of H.R. 314 would make it practically impossible to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, further eroding the List’s legitimacy and U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. Continued SSOT designation of Cuba, with its paralyzing effect on financial transactions, would also harm the Cuban private sector, individuals, and U.S. and global citizens traveling to Cuba, humanitarian organizations, and U.S. businesses. It inflicts significant damage on Cuba’s economic recovery and sends a discouraging message to companies and potential investors from the U.S. and worldwide.
ACERE urges all concerned individuals and organizations to join us in calling on Congress to vote NO on H.R. 314 and to work towards a more constructive relationship with Cuba based on mutual respect and understanding.