In 1988, four friends co-founded Global Exchange to fight a worldview based on greed, domination, and unvarnished worship of power. We envisioned building a robust U.S. movement capable of creating change from the grassroots, powered by people-to-people ties. This year we celebrated our 25th anniversary, and we are proud to honor the dedication of people like you who have sweated and sacrificed to forge a working alternative from the ground up.
Global Exchange launched our first travel challenge to Cuba in 1993, under the Freedom to Travel campaign with the following three demands of the U.S. Government:
- End the U.S. Embargo of Cuba;
- End Travel Restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba;
- Get Cuba removed from the U.S. list of potential terrorist countries.
Disappointingly, as you know too well, these demands remain twenty years later. This year Global Exchange was active as a licensed Travel Service Provider (TSP) by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and arranged educational travel for parties traveling under the General License or a People-to-People license for hundreds of individuals and dozens of associated professional groups. We believe that encouraging and increasing U.S. citizen travel to Cuba is the single best way to normalizing relations between the U.S. government and the Cuban people.
For example, remember the attention the travel ban got when music and media superstars Beyonce and Jay Z traveled to Cuba this spring? The media frenzy that ensued to determine the status of their trip highlighted the outdated regulations and the need to create more sane and just policy. We mobilized supporters like you to say “No More!” to media distortion and lies about Cuba, and to keep the pressure on President Obama to work to normalize relations. Sign the petition if you haven't already.
In addition, this fall we joined over 55 allies on a letter to President Obama, urging him to use his executive authority to do more on engaging Cuba by meeting our three demands. And now that President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial this week, perhaps change is on the way...?
Only time will tell, but we’re proud of what we’ve done together so far. To achieve the visions we set out all those years ago, we’re going to need your continued support.
Thanks for taking action with us in 2013,
The Global Exchange Cuba Team
P.S. Share your values with family and friends. This holiday season give a gift of Global Exchange membership and ensure our strength for the next 25 years!