S. Res. 215, Calling for Greater Religious and Political Freedoms in Cuba
Introduced by Sen. Braun (R-IN), Sen. Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Cruz (R-TX), May 21, 2019
In April 2019, a family was sent to prison in Cuba for homeschooling their children. The children were enrolled in a Christian distance school in Honduras. The families involved cited religious reasons for homeschooling their children. The Cuban government has a history of arresting individuals who chose to homeschool their children, sentencing them to prison and hard labor. Cuba’s insistence on state-controlled education is a sign of authoritarianism, enabling them to indoctrinate youth with a communist ideology. The United States stands for liberty and justice for all, and our foreign policy towards Cuba should hinge on Cuba’s ability for democratic reform and commitment to freedom.
- The United States commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba was levied on Cuba in 1958. President John F. Kennedy extended the embargo to nearly all exports in 1962. Congress made this embargo official U.S. policy with the passage of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6021).
- Despite the Obama Administration normalization of relations with Cuba, the embargo cannot be lifted without the consent of Congress or through major democratic reforms in Cuba, which would include deposing of the Castro regime.
- Expresses solidarity with the people of Cuba in their pursuit of religious freedom.
- Calls on the Government of Cuba to release all political prisoners, including those who have been imprisoned for homeschooling their children.
- Calls on the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to grant the Precautionary Measures requested on April 25, 2019.
- Calls on the Government of Cuba to recognize the right of parents to teach their own children free from state communist indoctrination.
- Calls for the continued implementation of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996.