US Bishops Demand End to Cuba Blockade

HAVANA TIMES, April 20 — The Conference of US Catholic Bishops demanded on Thursday that the Obama administration end the embargo on Cuba and restore diplomatic relations with the island, reported the dpa news agency.

In a letter sent on Tuesday to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by Bishop Richard E. Pates, who chairs the organization’s International Justice and Peace Committee, the Conference reported that “the work of providing food and medical care to poor and vulnerable people is hampered by the inability to obtain products from the US.”

The 68-year-old religious leader, who participated in the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the island in March, acknowledged as positive the measures previously instituted by President Barack Obama, such as easing travel to Cuba.

A few hours earlier, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D, New Mexico) also spoke out in favor of ending the embargo, calling it an “outdated” foreign policy measure against Cuba.