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Puentes de Amor requests a new extension to the customs exemption to import food and medicine to Cuba

The Cuban American Professor Carlos Lazocoordinator of bridges of loverequested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) of Cuba, on behalf of the organization he directs, a new extension to the customs exemption that allows entry into the country “unrestrictedly and without payment of tariffs, food, medicine and toiletries, by arriving travelers to the island”.

In a letter addressed to Ernesto Soberón Guzmán, general director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lazo recalled that this norm has been in force for more than a year for the unlimited importation and non-commercial purposes of basic necessities , has been previously extended and expires on December 31, 2022.

Since its implementation, Cubans and non-Cubans who visit or return to Cuba have been able to bring larger volumes of food, medicine and toiletries to the island, the letter states.

“As we expressed on a previous occasion, this has been beneficial for the Cuban family and, in some way, has helped to alleviate the shortage of food and medicine generated by the economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic,” Lazo said.

The activist also considers that the economic crisis that is currently hitting the planet is worsening in Cuba, “largely due to the financial, commercial and economic blockade imposed by the United States on the Island.”

In turn, it highlights that Cuban families inside and outside the Island have welcomed and relieved the implementation of this regulation and its successive extensions.

“Today, expressing the feelings of many Cubans residing abroad, we request the Cuban government to extend this measure beyond December 31, 2022 and until the exceptional conditions that promoted its implementation persist,” the letter from Puentes reads. of love.

Duty-free importation of medicines, toiletries and food in Cuba is extended

In addition to considering the measure beneficial for Cubans, whether or not they reside in the national territory, Lazo highlights that a new extension “would contribute to strengthening ties between the nation and Cubans residing abroad and would allow that in times of pandemic and blockade, bridges of love between the nation and its emigrants continue to be built.”

The customs exemption for the importation of food and medicines was taken over by the government of the Island on July 16, 2021, just days after the biggest anti-government protests in decades. Then, the Ministry of Finance and Prices issued Resolution 309 published in the official Gazette No. 62, Extraordinary, in which it established the relaxation of customs regulations in force until December 31 of that year.

Days before expiring, a first extension for the application of the standard until June 30, 2022, an action that was repeated in the middle of last May.

Leading Puentes de Amor, Professor Lazo has deployed several initiatives that seek to improve relations between Cuba and the United States, and has spoken out against the sanctions imposed by the White House on the Island for more than six decades.

In addition to the continuous campaigns that he has organized for this purpose, which include carrying out caravans in various US cities and donations of food and medicine that are in short supply, he has also advocated for a better relationship between the government and Cuban emigration.

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