We are saddened and angered by the Trump administration’s latest move against Cuba. On June 4, 2019 it was announced that as of June 5, 2019 the people-to-people travel license would be eliminated, further restricting the freedom of US citizens to travel to Cuba and ending the license many solidarity groups have operated under to sustain meaningful exchanges in Cuba.
First and foremost, we want to say that we fully stand in solidarity with the Cuban people, that we firmly disagree with the elimination of the people-to-people license, and will do all that is in our power to ensure that our delegations to Cuba are protected. Our work continues. We understand these policies to be imperialistic tactics to undermine the sovereignty of Cuba and the Cuban people. And we know that our work continues to chip away at the already reduced support for the 60-year blockade against Cuba.
As a collective, we will be working with our trusted partners—the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center—as well as with other Cuba solidarity organizations and legal counsel, to develop a way forward for our Cuba work. It’s important to note that Witness for Peace brought groups to Cuba prior to the existence of the people-to-people license under other licenses that still do exist, so we’re cautiously optimistic, and want to be clear that this is not an end to our Cuba program.
Over the last year we've had the privilege of hosting delegations exploring solidarity through themes like Maroon Roots and 21st Century Revolution; Urban Agriculture and Ecology; Healing and Social Justice; Arts, Culture and Black Identity; and Education and Culture. Each delegation works to build our knowledge through educational exchanges and personal experience to change the narrative, uplift what we have to learn from Cuba, and ultimately change the damaging and unjust policies against Cuba.
In collaboration and with the generosity of our partners at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center, delegations are relational experiences where we get the opportunity to learn and build relationships with the Cuban people. Our work continues to foster accountability to one another and an understanding of solidarity on the personal, community, and global level.