Roger Waters, Cornel West, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jeremy Corbyn, Rev. Liz Theoharis, Seun Kuti, Vijay Prashad, among other personalities, called for the end of sanctions on Cuba in an open letter addressed to U.S. President Joe Biden, dated Tuesday, August 9, published at https://letcubalive.info/.

In the missive, the signatories noted that “it is time to write a new page in U.S.-Cuba relations.”

“Despite words of condolence and the offer of technical advice, the U.S. Government has done very little to help the people of Cuba in their time of greatest need. Unfortunately, U.S. sanctions fuel the fires raging in Cuba!” they state.

The letter insists on the need to lift all sanctions that prevent Cuba, directly or indirectly, from receiving medical, humanitarian and environmental aid, financial and other assistance from U.S. organizations and other nations.

One of the proposed measures is to remove Cuba from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

The signatories urge Biden to immediately coordinate with U.S. agencies to provide the direct and urgent assistance Cuba requests.

The following is the text of the letter

Dear President Joe Biden,

August 9, 2022

Now more than ever, it’s time to write a new page in U.S.-Cuban relations. We are making an urgent, public appeal to you to reject the cruel policies put into place by the Trump White House that have already created so much suffering among the Cuban people.

On Friday, August 5th, a major oil storage facility in Matanzas, Cuba, 65 miles east of Havana, was hit by lightning. Since then, an enormous fire has been raging. This tremendous explosion and hard-to-control fire have left several people missing (including firefighters), many injured with severe burns, and hundreds evacuated from their homes.

This fire, the largest in Cuban history, comes when Cuba is undergoing an energy crisis due to soaring global fuel costs and aging infrastructure. This oil tank fire will undoubtedly only further exacerbate the electricity outages that Cubans suffer during this hot summer. The resources that the government will be forced to put into disaster response will also have a negative impact on the general well-being of Cubans amid sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and continued under your administration.

Despite the words of condolence and the offer of technical advice, the U.S. government has done very little to aid the people of Cuba in their greatest moment of need. Unfortunately, U.S. sanctions fuel the fires that rage in Cuba! Despite assurances by the U.S. Embassy in Havana that the law authorizes U.S. entities and organizations to provide disaster relief and response, Trump’s 243 sanctions continue to prevent urgently needed aid from arriving in Cuba.

When your neighbor’s house is on fire, the normal human reaction is to rush next door to help. To save lives. To extinguish the flames. Cuba is our neighbor.! It is unconscionable, especially during a tragic accident, to block remittances and Cuba’s use of global financial institutions, given that access to dollars is necessary to import food and medicine.

Time is of the essence. The administration should lift all sanctions that prevent Cuba, directly or indirectly, from receiving essential medical, humanitarian, and environmental relief or receiving financial and other assistance from other nations or organizations in the U.S. This includes removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List. We also urge you to coordinate immediately with relevant U.S. agencies to provide the direct and urgent assistance that Cuba requests.

Sincerely,

Brian Becker

Black Youth Project 100

Cindy Weisner

Claudia De la Cruz

Cornel West

David Adler

David Harvey

DRUM Desis Rising Up and Moving

Gabriel Rockhill

Gail Walker

Gerald Horne

Gina Belafonte

Helen Yaffe

Jennifer Ponce De Leon

Jeremy Corbyn

Jerrod MacFarlane

Jodi Dean

Jodie Evans

Judith Butler

Liz Theoharis

Manolo De Los Santos

Manu Karuka

Noam Chomsky

Nodutdol

Palestinian Youth Movement

Phillip Agnew

Robin D.G. Kelly

Roger Waters

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro

Seun Kuti

Soffiyah Elijah

Vijay Prashad

Yasemin Zahra