PC(USA) Stated Clerk lauds historic action on Cuba

December 17, 2014


Today, after many long years, we welcome the historic steps taken by President Obama on normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba. The humanitarian release of Alan Gross by the Cuban government along with the release of the three Cuban prisoners, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino, by the Obama administration moves the roadblocks that have held back progress in improving relations between our two countries for far too long.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been working for more than 30 years to help ease the hardships caused by the United States’ economic embargo on Cuba and to end the embargo itself. Recently I have been participating in a series of meetings with government officials both in Cuba and in Washington. Along with the Reverend John L. McCullough, president and chief executive officer of Church World Service; and Rabbi Elhanan “Sunny” Schnitzer, executive director of the Cuba-America Jewish Mission; we emphasized the humanitarian reasons for the release of Alan Gross and the three Cuban prisoners. 

The announcement today by President Obama not only eases the suffering of the family members and friends of these prisoners, but also takes us closer to a day when our two peoples will have no impediments to full and flourishing relations. We rejoice along with the Cuban Council of Churches and the Presbyterian Church of Cuba for the good news that will further the cause of peace and human rights around the world. 

  1. Anybody know what the Cuban people get out of this? The dissidents pushing for democracy? The political prisoners?

    by Richard Aubrey

    December 23, 2014

  2. There is a time and a season...President Obama has shown leadership to seize this time to offer new hope that may begin a new season in Cuba. May the people of Cuba be free from the bondage of totalitarian government. May that day be soon as the people of that nation see new hope for change and strength to reform their government! Jeremiah 29:1-7 pray for the land of yoyr exile...may it prosper....

    by Thomas Fultz, Ruling Elder

    December 19, 2014

  3. I cannot join the chorus of happy voices rejoicing in the "re-normalization" of relations with a communist country infamous for human rights violations. What would the late president John F. Kennedy say? A sad day for America and for many Cuban Americans. LSL

    by Louis S. lunardini

    December 18, 2014

  4. Sister relations of Yachats Community Presbyterian Church and Our sister church La Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Santa Clara, Cuba has been a source of strength for both communities of faith! We visited Santa Clara & Havannnah in 2003 & again in 2003.

    by Max E Glenn

    December 17, 2014

  5. A day we have worked and hoped for - at least. I first went to Cuba in 1984 - helped to start the Long Island Presbytery Partnership in 1989 and I have been there 23 times - but not since 2009. Now at age 81, I am contemplating going again. Lucy

    by Lucy Fetterolf

    December 17, 2014

  6. President Obama made history on the side the affirmation of humanity for the cuban people. I thank God for him and his political boldness. Gene Turner

    by Eugene Turner

    December 17, 2014

  7. Thanks for your good work leading to this day of celebration. And thanks for the good work of Dean Lewis over many years. I was part of one of his first delegations to Cuba.

    by Jack Porter

    December 17, 2014

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