President Obama: Positive Words and New Policies at Summit of the Americas
On Friday, President Obama arrives in Port of Spain, Trinidad for the 5th Summit of the Americas. Latin Americans are longing to hear positive words, but a change in tone isn't enough. Email President Obama today and encourage him to back up a just message with new policies and action!
I write to encourage you to use your upcoming speech at the Summit of the Americas to signal that a new day has indeed dawned for U.S. policy in the Western Hemisphere.
You can start by making clear that the United States is ready to listen and that our days of dictating how freely-elected governments do things are over.
Latin Americans will welcome positive words, but only if they're backed up by bold new policies. With this in mind, I call on you to use your Summit speech to:
--Reveal your support for an end to the travel ban-for ALL Americans-that cruelly divides the U.S. and Cuban people.
--Reaffirm that the United States remains committed to reducing poverty and inequity, and promoting social inclusion, even in harsh economic times.
--Stand up for human rights. Closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay will be a positive first step, but you must also make clear that you will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights defenders wherever and whenever they face threats or attacks.
--Own up to the United States "shared responsibility" for drug-related violence. Signal your intention to invest more in drug prevention and rehabilitation here at home and abandon failed and punitive counternarcotics policies like aerial fumigations in Colombia.
--Acknowledge that broadly-shared peace and prosperity can only be achieved by investing in people and institutions that support the rule of law, not by military might.
--Show your support for immigration reform and a new approach to security in the border region that recognizes the positive contributions of millions of immigrants to our nation's prosperity, the rights of border communities, and the economic realities that drive people to leave their countries in search of a better life.
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