Letter to Congress on Cuba Sanctions

May 8, 2000

Dear Representative,

In their major pastoral letter issued for this Jubilee Year, the Catholic Bishops of Cuba addressed the many problems facing the Cuban people at this time, and singled out the economic embargo imposed by our country:

Unfortunately, there still remain "the economic measures imposed from outside the country, both unjust and morally unacceptable" (John Paul II, departure speech, n.4), which ought to cease, as we have been saying now for many years.

With Pope John Paul and the Cuban Bishops, the Catholic Bishops of the United States also believe that this embargo, which harms only the most vulnerable in Cuba not the regime, should be ended. Aware that the political realities of our country make the outright termination of these measures unlikely at this time, we do urge that all restrictions presently in effect that limit the commercial sale of food, feed, medicine and medical equipment be lifted now.

The language offered by Mr. Nethercutt and accepted by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee last week would, in our view, represent a valuable step in the right direction and I urge you to retain such language in the final bill.

With sincere thanks for your attention to these concerns, I am

Sincerely yours,

Bernard Cardinal Law
Archbishop of Boston
Chairman, USCC Committee on International Policy