Social-justice agency applauds President Obama’s intention to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba

Havana Cuba

Havana Cuba

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) of The United Methodist Church applauds President Barack Obama’s instructions to Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba with the intent of re-establishing diplomatic relations, including re-opening an embassy in Havana.

Our Methodist, ecumenical partners, and CIEMAL (Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches of Latin America & the Caribbean) are linked in sharing a common Christian heritage for peace and social justice. The United Methodist Book of Resolutions has for decades acknowledged the difficulties that our churches continue to face due to the U.S. embargo and the lack of diplomatic relationships between the two countries.

The United Methodist General Conference, our highest policy-setting body, has for decades urged United Methodists to petition the president and Congress of the United States “to lift the economic embargo against Cuba and any other regulations, practices or measures enforcing the embargo law and to seek negotiations with the Cuban government for the purpose of resuming normal diplomatic relations” (Resolution #6059. “End the U.S. Embargo of Cuba,” 2012 Book of Resolutions).

The United Methodist Church has long advocated for an improved relationship between Cuba and the United States.

We encourage the Dept. of State to restore diplomatic relations, including the immediate removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. We also ask Congress to join President Obama in lifting economic sanctions on Cuba.

In this season of Advent, we welcome the hope for restoration of relationships between the peoples of the United States and Cuba.

HenryCrowe_sq—The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe
General Secretary
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church

The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Prime responsibility of the board is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.

Contact Info
Wayne Rhodes
Director of Communications
General Board of Church & Society
The United Methodist Church
(202) 488-5630 / wrhodes@umc-gbcs.org

General Board of Church & Society

The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is that agency of the church charged with promoting the church’s social witness, and to help all United Methodists connect their faith with the broader society.

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18 Comments on "Social-justice agency applauds President Obama’s intention to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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George Nixon Shuler
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Well, TD, have you considered switching to Southern Baptist where all that and more is done in the service of right-wing politics? Just askin’. I’ll admit, I was kind of surprised some twelve years ago or whenever it was, in the Elian Gonzalez imbroglio, to learn that a UMC agency was paying for a lawyer for the (Cuban) father of the then-boy who became a symbol of resistance to relatives among los guasanos en Miami. At first I was mildly shocked and wondered if this was appropriate – for maybe five minutes, then I exercised my views of the seamlessness… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Hmmmm. As if Jesus would join the NRA and the Republican Party.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

That’s certainly more likely than the former.

Donnie
Guest

The GBCS should move their offices to Havana. Maybe even in the presidential palace! It would certainly fit their agenda well.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Better than in Miami where Los Guasanos hold sway.

Kevin
Guest

Why not? After all Cuba is a beacon of social justice here in the Western Hemisphere. Cigar anyone?

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Their healthcare system is superior to other Latin American counties’.

Wes Andrews
Guest
Health care superiority in Cuba is the narritave myth promoted by progressives like Michael Moore. I have several doctor friends who reside in Central America that were trained in Cuba. I am also a part of a group of friends who are sponsoring a young man in his application to receive his medical training in Cuba. It will be a great opportunity for him. My physician friends are grateful for their training, but they indicate that medical care in Cuba is NOT equal even though that is what Cuba’s power-class proclaims. The elites get quite good care, but the rank… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Bait and Switch spotted. The poster did not address adequacy of healthcare in Cuba for ordinary Cubans but instead commented on healthcare for CP elites, two very different things.

Wes Andrews
Guest

Another misguided and misinformed move by one of our progressive UM agencies which fails again to proclaim the Good News. Instead the GBCS takes our dollars and in this case supports a political agenda that emboldens a government which refuses to recognize basic human rights and which oppresses and exploits the poor.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

The American government does that?

Jenny
Guest

Honest question – would you prefer they ignore the will of the General Conference and Resolution #6059?

Mark
Guest

It’s likely the GBCS was indirectly behind the resolution to begin with. Many of these resolutions are fronted by individuals or innocuous sounding groups, but when the onion is peeled back a special interest political lobby is revealed, and quite often it’s the GBCS.

Wes Andrews
Guest
I am for normalizing the United States relationship with Cuba, BUT with conditions. I am not convinced the LAWG is a reliable partner and source of information for our GBCS. other than a shared progressive agenda. Their recommendations should be balanced by consultation with other Latin American groups that can help us have a more accurate and balanced view. I have had the privilege of meeting with the current Cuban Ambassador for Belize on some water purification projects. and had a very interesting conversation. Respectfully, Cuba does not yet support freedom of thought, nor freedom of speech. These issues, among… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Compared to, for instance, Israel, the United States, Poland, etc., I don’t believe the case can be made that Cuba is so much worse in so-called “freedom”.

Kevin
Guest

You really want to go there? We ignore the will of General Conference all over. What makes this resolution so special?

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

About the issue of diplomatic relations with Cuba, this is a move that is some 40 years late. About the UMC agency making the statement is this not the one which paid for Elian Gonzalez’s father’s lawyer?

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