El profesor Carlos Lazo y Puentes de Amor. Foto: The Militant.

Bridges of Love releases declaration on Cuba-US migration talks

In a statement released yesterday, the Bridges of Love Project, led by Cuban-American professor Carlos Lazo, spoke about the migration talks recently concluded between Cuba and the United States in Washington DC.

The document “applauds the migration talks held last week between the governments of Cuba and the United States. Dialogue and negotiation must be the ways for both countries to reach agreements that benefit their peoples».

“During the last few months,” he stresses, “a wave of Cuban emigrants has overflowed the southern border of the United States. Added to this are many other people who have tried to emigrate from the Island, on rafts and precarious boats. Most of these Cubans have the same goal: to get out of the situation of hardship and hopelessness that they suffer in Cuba. This surprises no one. Cuba, a poor and underdeveloped country, is trapped in the global economic crisis, exacerbated by COVID.

Next, he adds: “In addition to its own economic problems, in addition to poverty exacerbated by the pandemic, an economic war is looming over the Island that has punished the Cuban people for more than six decades. That war is the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States. As if all this were not enough, during the pandemic the White House intensified the siege against the Cuban people. All this nightmare of blockade and intensified sanctions are responsible, to a large extent, for the migratory wave being triggered. It is normal for people to want to run away. It is logical that people get tired of this economic aggression that causes hunger, scarcity and that takes lives. No Cuban family escapes the cruelty of these sanctions.”

The bridges of love, back to the road

Then he asks: “How to stop or reduce this disorderly and risky emigration from Cuba if, at the same time, that emigration is caused by suffocation policies promoted by the United States? How to get Cuban families to choose to stay on the island, and to carry out their life project there (or to choose to emigrate through legal and safe means) if the United States promotes hunger, poverty and hopelessness among the people? Cuban? It is a contradiction to ask Cubans not to risk crossing borders and seas and at the same time maintain and intensify cruel policies that suffocate those same Cubans.

To end with a request to the Biden administration: “In light of the above, we ask the United States government to lift the sanctions that weigh on the Cuban people. That is what common sense dictates. That is what decency dictates. That is what humanity asks for. That would be consistent with the logic of ‘fundamental causes’ articulated by the United States in executive order 14010. The current policy of sanctions and isolation towards Cuba is detrimental to the best interests of both peoples and stimulates illegal emigration. That policy goes against the postulates put forward by the United States itself. If the US government really wants to promote legal and orderly emigration from Cuba, it must put an end to the economic siege it maintains on the island and must establish policies that favor Cuba’s economic growth. To achieve that, the blockade must be ended. That is the only practical, feasible and humane way to solve the problem; Tear down walls and build bridges.

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