President Obama's Letter to Professor Vandall on Cuba

November 14, 2012

In November, President Barack Obama replied to Emory Law Professor Frank Vandall's lecture titled, “ˇCuba Si!: A Tribute to Professor David Bederman and a Letter to President Obama," which was published in a special issue of the Emory Law Journal. The text of President Obama's letter is below, and here is a link to the original.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington
November 7, 2012

Mr. Frank Vandall
1301 Clifton Road, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30322

Dear Frank:

Thank you for sharing your perspective on American foreign policy towards Cuba.  I appreciate hearing from you.

The promotion of democracy and human rights in Cuba is in our national interest and is a key component of our Nation's foreign policy.  Measures that decrease dependency of the Cuban people on the Castro regime and promote contacts between Cuban Americans and their relatives in Cuba are means to encourage positive change in Cuba.

My Administration has taken steps to reach out to the Cuban people.  Cuban Americans should be able to visit and assist loved ones in Cuba, and that is why I have eased restrictions on family visits and remittances.  Cuban-American visitors are our country's best ambassadors for promoting freedom in Cuba.

To increase interaction and the flow of information directly to the Cuban people, I have authorized opening telecommunications links between Cuba and the United States and allowing for the export of donated personal communications devices.  We have also helped the Cuban people by expanding the list of humanitarian items that Americans can send to Cuba, as well as expanding the scope of eligible gift parcel donors and donees.

I believe these initiatives benefit our nation and help support the Cuban people's desire to determine freely their country's future.  For more information on this and other important policy issues, I encourage you to visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/Issues/Foreign-Policy.

Again, thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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