Take action to support the Cuban cooperative sector and international cooperative development

The sign-on letter asks President Biden to resume the path of engagement with the Cuban people and private sector.

The Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE) is leading efforts to collect signatures from U.S. cooperatives and other businesses and business organizations on a letter asking the Biden Administration to support Cuban private and cooperative sectors.

ACERE is a U.S.-based organization that advocates for the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The sign-on letter asks President Biden to resume the path of engagement and normalization and to fulfill his campaign promise and 2022 announcement in support of the Cuban people and private sector.

In the spirit of Principle 6, or cooperation among cooperatives, help the Cuban cooperative community by listing your organization as a supporter of this letter by Friday, May 10th.    

Sign the letter   

U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba have led to economic crisis and presented many challenges for cooperatives and their members operating within the country. NCBA CLUSA has been in contact with Cuban cooperatives since 2014, particularly through the U.S.-CUBA Cooperative Working Group (2015-2019), which aims to promote mutually-beneficial collaboration between the U.S. and Cuba’s cooperative sectors.

In 2017, NCBA CLUSA sent a letter to the previous administration calling for a comprehensive review of the progress made in U.S.-Cuba relations. NCBA CLUSA advocated for the normalization of economic relations between the two countries as the best strategy for supporting the Cuban people and boosting U.S. jobs and exports. However, many of the sanctions implemented under the previous administration are yet to be undone, hindering the growth of the Cuban cooperative sector and private sector.  

Since new rules for cooperatives, self-employed, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were passed in August 2021 by the Cuban Ministry of Economics and Planning, the Cuban private sector has grown rapidly despite the remaining sanctions. The private sector now employs nearly 35 percent of the economically active population, including more than 5,000 cooperatives, 4,000 private businesses and 550,000 self-employed.  

Cuba’s private sector employs nearly 35 percent of the economically active population, including more than 5,000 cooperatives. ¬†

So far, more than 6,400 Cuban business owners, the majority of them cooperative members, have signed the letter requesting seven concrete measures that the Biden Administration can take to enable them to have access to international financial transactions, inputs and demand for their products and services. In the U.S., along with NCBA CLUSA, other 15 businesses organizations such as Latino Farmers and Ranchers International, Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops, and Busboys and Poets have singed in support of the Cuban private sector demands. Realizing the changes requested in the sign-on letter will allow for expanded growth of the Cuban cooperative and private sector, and would build relations between U.S. and Cuban cooperatives, members and businesses.  

Cooperative enterprises across the U.S. are working to grow their businesses and impact their communities and the cooperative community as a whole by adhering to the 7 Cooperative Principles. Assisting Cuban cooperatives in their pursuit to normalize relations between Cuba and the U.S. allows the global cooperative community to have meaningful, inclusive growth and impact; identify new members and business opportunities; and leverage more resources and relationships in responding to community needs. 

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