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Groups' Ad Criticizes Boycott of Cuba

January 17, 1998|From Times wire reports

More than 50 religious, human rights and development groups are sponsoring a newspaper ad urging relaxation of the U.S. economic boycott of Cuba. The ad is set to appear in the New York Times and the Washington Post on Jan. 21, the day Pope John Paul II is scheduled to arrive in Cuba for a five-day visit.

The ad calls the embargo "morally unacceptable" because it limits the amount of food and medicine entering Cuba from the United States, and urges Washington to "reevaluate its policies toward Cuba."

It also calls for "a healing and dialogue" between "the people of Cuba and the people of the United States" to help end the "years of suspicion and hostility between our governments [that] have deformed the relationship between our countries."

The ad specifically asks for the resumption of direct air travel between the United States and Cuba to ease family reunification, and for the lifting of restrictions on "the sale of food, medicines and medical supplies to Cuba."

Among the religious signers of the ad are the National Council of Churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the American Baptist Church, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (Catholic), the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker), Friends United Meeting (Quaker), NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes.

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