HAVANA TIMES — The US peace group CODEPINK welcomed the July 1 announcement in Havana and Washington about the historic re-opening of embassies in the United States and Cuba.
“We view the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between our nations as a crucial step forward to fully normalizing relations. However, despite this encouraging act of diplomacy, more work needs to be done, including lifting the travel ban and the embargo, and returning the Guantanamo Naval Base to the Cuban people.
“Although an official US embassy will be housed in Havana with the American flag flying above its gate, American citizens still face restrictions that prohibit them from freely traveling to Cuba. Congress should ignore the few representatives who are opposed to normalization, and immediately pass the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act to allow Americans to travel to Cuba just as they are allowed to travel anywhere else in the world. This should be followed by the passage of the bill to lift the embargo, finally putting to rest the Helms Burton Act that codified the failed American policy of isolation and hostilities.
“The opening the embassies in Havana and Washington is a great and historic step, but everything that President Obama has done can be undone by the next president,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “Congress must now step up and pass the needed legislation to finally put an end to the antiquated policies towards Cuba that have failed for 54 years.”
“CODEPINK also calls on the US government to close the prison in Guantanamo and return the Naval Base to the Cuban people.
“CODEPINK will host a celebration in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC at 5pm on the day of its official reopening.”