Cuban American Activists Deliver State Dept. Petition To Lift US Blockade Against Havana

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th July, 2021) Cuban American activists provided senior State Department official Emily Mendrala a petition with 27,000 signatures calling on the United States to lift the decades-long blockade against the island nation, group leader Carlos Lazo told Sputnik.

The Biden administration recently sanctioned Cuban officials over the crack down on protests, a move contrary to expectations among many that the White House might normalize relations with Havana and reverse Trump-era restrictions.

"We met with Emily Mendrala and I gave her our petition with 27,000 signatures," Lazo said on Thursday.

Mendrala, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs covering Cuba, told the activists she would convey all these ideas to the White House, Lazo said.

Lazo noted that US President Joe Biden promised during his campaign last year to lift the sanctions against Cuba.

"We talked to her about the need of fulfilling this work," Lazo said.

Earlier in July, Lazo and his colleagues marched from Miami to Washington, DC to express their opposition to the blockade of Cuba.

"More than half of the Cuban Americans want engagement, stable relations and bridge of love with the Cuban people," Lazo said. "During our walk we had an opportunity to talk to Americans of all backgrounds, and no one person agreed with that blockade."

US restrictions on trade with Cuba date back to the island nation's communist revolution in the late 1950s and involve at least a half dozen different American laws. President Barack Obama took steps to normalize bilateral relations with the island, but the policy was reversed by the Trump administration.

Lazo said that during his stay in Washington he already met and will be meeting with a number of US lawmakers and their staff.