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Witness for Peace Statement on Dec. 17, 2014 Policy Changes Regarding Cuba

December 18, 2014

Witness for Peace welcomes yesterday’s initiatives by the governments of the United States and Cuba, which appear to signal better prospects for peace and normal human relations for and between the people of both nations. We know that this moment did not arrive without a great deal of pressure and other hard work from committed people, appalled by the injustice of the U.S. embargo and other hypocritical U.S. policies that have negatively impacted the Cuban people in a variety of ways. For years, Witness for Peace has pushed for more humane U.S. policy toward Cuba, including an end to the embargo and the removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Thousands of people have traveled to Cuba on transformative delegations with Witness for Peace, returning home equipped to be voices for policy change and better bilateral understanding and relations. These transformed people have written their policymakers, penned op-eds and letters to the editor, raised awareness in other venues about the effects of U.S. policies on the Cuban people, and acted out in numerous other ways their solidarity with those on the island impacted by U.S. policies, which for decades have remained stuck in the Cold War. And as a community of faith and conscience (albeit certainly encompassing diverse interpretations thereof), Witness for Peace notes with respect and appreciation the key role evidently fulfilled by the Vatican in making possible this historic moment. We look forward to the day when our common humanity transcends rancor, and a shared future triumphs over a divisive past. While we take encouragement from yesterday's developments, fervently hoping that day will be soon, until it arrives we will continue to call for just and humane policies toward our Cuban neighbors!