US assistance to Cuban hurricane victims
Dear President Bush, Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Pelosi cc: Senator McCain and Senator Obama Because of the devastation suffered by Cuba from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and the history of conflict and suspicion between our countries, creative means must be found to enable the traditional compassion of Americans to express itself in assistance to the Cuban people in a timely fashion. We urge an immediate 180 day suspension by Presidential order, or by legislation, of Treasury and Commerce Department restrictions and licensing requirements for humanitarian travel and remittances by all Americans and assistance from not-for-profit organizations granted tax-exempt status by the IRS.
This letter is a collaborative effort of organizations and individuals who wish the removal of political obstacles to humanitarian assistance by Americans to hurricane victims in Cuba. Initial signers include representatives of more than twenty-five organizations and businesses. Complete list at http://cubanaid.blogspot.com/2008/09/letter-to-president-and-leaders-of.html After signing, please contact your own Representative and Senators directly or through http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/625/t/1707/campaign.jspcampaign_KEY=25433&tag=h_action For updated information on hurricane destruction and responses, go to http://cubanaid.blogspot.com/ Note: Through signer 827, the requested suspension period was 90 days. To be consistent with legislation proposed by Senator Dodd and Representative Delahunt, the period has been changed to 180 days. Coordinated by the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, firstname.lastname@example.org
EXISTING CHANNELS FOR AID The magnitude of devastation created by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in Cuba requires new channels of humanitarian assistance to Cubans from family members and friends in the United States, as well as large scale rapid assistance from non-governmental organizations and foundations. Current US policy obstructs both timely individual and institutional assistance. However a few organizations were already licensed to provide aid to Cuba. Please make tax deductible donations on line to organizations endorsing this appeal. Disarm Education Fund http://www.disarm.org/support/index.html choose "Disaster Relief" and specify "Hurricanes" in comments Global Links http://www.globallinks.org/where_we_work/cuba/) MEDICC https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.phpaid=18349 Operation USA http://www.opusa.org/wherewework/international/cuba/mainpage.html Center for Democracy in the Americas Donations by mail for redistribution to the above, plus Catholic Relief Services, Jewish Solidarity and Sisters of Charity http://www.democracyinamericas.org/Hurricane_Ike/Gustav_Relief Fund for Reconciliation and Development On-line donations redistributed to organization(s) best prepared to utilize them in a timely fashion. Designate "Hurricane Help" in the Additional Options section http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.aspCharityCode=1270