• Michael Laxer

Illinois House calls for an end to the US economic embargo and blockade of Cuba



On May 30 the Illinois House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling for an end to the US economic embargo and blockade of Cuba.


The resolution, which was passed by a margin of 63 to 45, demands that the Biden administration renew engagement with Cuba and that it "rescind restrictive regulations, as well as restaff the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. embassy in Havana".


It also urges the "United States Congress to pass legislation finally ending the harmful 59-year-old economic, financial, and commercial embargo, as well as the travel restrictions on U.S. citizens and residents to Cuba and Cuban citizens to the United States."


It further notes that the full "restoration of trade and travel between the two countries would be of great benefit to both, particularly in the areas of food production, education, health care, tourism, the arts, music, sports, and medical and biotechnological research" and would allow Illinois access to "the life-saving medicines Herberprot-p and CIMAvax".


According to Granma the "document is the 33rd adopted by a local or state authority in the U.S. territory in the interest of improving bilateral relations".


Full text:


WHEREAS, In 1960, the United States government imposed a strict economic, commercial, and financial embargo on the Republic of Cuba; and

WHEREAS, On December 17, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as cooperation between them on certain matters of mutual interest; and

WHEREAS, Nevertheless, despite executive decisions by President Obama that eased some restrictive regulations, the main portions of the embargo affecting trade and travel continue in force; and

WHEREAS, Full restoration of trade and travel between the two countries would be of great benefit to both, particularly in the areas of food production, education, health care, tourism, the arts, music, sports, and medical and biotechnological research; and

WHEREAS, The State of Illinois would greatly benefit by the restoration of trade with the Republic of Cuba, which would permit the export of industrial and agricultural products to the neighboring nation of 11 million people and the importation of Cuban products useful to Illinois, such as the life-saving medicines Herberprot-p and CIMAvax; and

WHEREAS, Institutions and businesses in Illinois have expressed a strong interest in selling their products and services to Cuba, importing Cuban products, and cooperating with Cuban institutions in the areas of the development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices and procedures and biomedical research, to the benefit of our citizens; and

WHEREAS, The people of Illinois are negatively affected by these restrictions, which violate their right to travel and which harm economic opportunities for our people that enhanced trade with Cuba would bring us; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we denounce the embargo and travel restrictions as prejudicial to the interests of the people of Cuba, the United States, and Illinois and as a violation of the rights of U.S. citizens and residents to travel and ascertain the real situation in Cuba for themselves; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge President Biden to renew engagement with the Republic of Cuba, as initiated by the Obama administration, and rescind restrictive regulations, as well as restaff the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. embassy in Havana; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge the United States Congress to pass legislation finally ending the harmful 59-year-old economic, financial, and commercial embargo, as well as the travel restrictions on U.S. citizens and residents to Cuba and Cuban citizens to the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this resolution be distributed to the Illinois Congressional Delegation and President Biden with the urgent request that they act upon it as soon as possible.


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