May 05, 2020

Lawmakers Press Pompeo & Mnuchin to Confirm that U.S. Policy Does Not Preclude Shipments of Medical Equipment to Cuba to Combat COVID-19

 Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ensure that U.S. policy does not preclude companies and humanitarian organizations from providing essential medical equipment, food, and information to the people of Cuba to combat COVID-19.

In a letter signed by Warren, Leahy, McGovern and 24 members of the Senate and the House, they note that it is “dangerous and contrary to our longstanding tradition of not politicizing the delivery of humanitarian aid. In such an unprecedented emergency caused by a deadly virus that is so easily transmissible, public health and safety must take precedence.”

Senator Warren has been concerned about the humanitarian impact of U.S. sanctions. In March, she joined a bicameral letter urging the Trump Administration to ease sanctions against Iran as the country suffers from a major humanitarian crisis from COVID-19. In February, she sent a letter to the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State expressing concern about the coronavirus outbreak in Iran and demanding answers about the impact of U.S. sanctions on humanitarian transactions that would help counter and contain the spread of the disease in that country.