Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Support Reconciliation with Cuba - Sign the Petition to Take Cuba off the State Supporters of Terrorism List

Support Reconciliation with Cuba - Sign the Petition to Take Cuba off the State Supporters of Terrorism List
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5: 16-20)

“We, Protestant, Episcopal and Orthodox church leaders from the United States and from the ecumenical movement in Cuba, and members of both councils of churches, begin this joint statement by giving thanks for signs of God’s reconciling presence in our deeply-divided world. One such sign, we believe, is the history of mutually–nurturing relationships between our churches.

We give thanks, not only for God’s presence in the past, but also for God’s promises for a different future — a future in which reconciliation proves stronger than alienation (e.g., Isaiah 65:25). With this in mind, we declare the following shared conviction: that the half century of animosity between our countries must end.”
From “The National Council of the Churches of Christ (U.S.A.)and The Council of Churches of Cuba Joint Statement” – December 2011

Now is the time for the United States to show its sincerity in pursuing a path toward improved relations with Cuba. It’s long overdue that we join the rest of the world in recognizing that Cuba is not a threat, but rather a potential partner in the western hemisphere. And if not a partner, then at least not an adversary. Cuba says it is ready and willing to move in that direction and the majority of U.S. citizens want to engage with Cuba.  

You can help move the White House in the direction of improved relations. Sign our petition asking the President to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Play a part in making this happen. We want to exceed 25,000 signatures; and that will take many of us encouraging our friends, family, and colleagues to add their names to the petition. Will you help reach this ambitious goal? Sign and share now.

Why Cuba shouldn’t be on this list:
• Cuba is not a State Sponsor of Terrorism. State sponsors of terrorism are governments that provide logistical, financial, or political support to groups that carry out terrorist attacks on civilians. Cuba does not.
• Cuba has made international commitments to combat terrorism. Cuba has ratified all 12 international counterterrorism conventions, and Cuba has offered to sign a bilateral agreement with the United States on counterterrorism.
• Cuba is a sponsor of the Colombian peace talks. Cuba is playing a constructive, mediating role (one recognized and lauded by the Colombian government) in peace talks between the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government.
• Cuba collaborates with the United States in counter-drug efforts.  Together, we interdict narcotics shipments in the Caribbean, and the United States government acknowledges (even lauds) this cooperation.

And, this is why the United States should take Cuba off the list:

• Keeping Cuba on the list weakens the credibility of the entire list.
• Removing Cuba from the terrorist list would send a positive signal to all Latin American governments . . . and could well improve the image of the United States in the western hemisphere.
• The President can do it without Congress.
• Other countries have been removed from the terrorist list; it is possible. Iraq was removed in 1982 and again in 2004 (after having been re-assigned to the list). Libya was removed in 2006. North Korea was removed in 2008.  South Yemen was removed in 1990 (after it merged with North Yemen).

Cuba does not belong on this list, and it is in U.S. interests to remove Cuba from the list. Do it now.
Sign the petition and then share, share, share.

We want to make as big of an impact as possible, and that can’t happen without you.

General Assembly Policy
The 212th General Assembly (2000)

Urged “the agencies, governing bodies, and members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to continue to advocate and support measures to end the U.S. embargo and restore normal diplomatic relations with Cuba as consistently advocated by General Assemblies over many years, and particularly to support measures to exempt food, medicine, and medical supplies from the existing embargo and remove restrictions on travel between the United States and Cuba.”
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