Statement on Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations between the United States and Cuba

The World Methodist Council welcomes the groundbreaking news that the United States and Cuba are moving towards reestablishing of formal diplomatic relationships.

Our organization, which counts the Iglesia Metodista en Cuba (Methodist Church in Cuba) among its 80 Member Churches in over 130 countries throughout the world, share a common desire for peace and Christian Unity. The United States’ embargo has separated families and hampered relief efforts and opportunities for fellowship over the years.

In the past The World Methodist Council as a body discussed the blockade between the United States and Cuba and its effects on the region, and although no formal resolution has passed, the news of this change in relationships was commended by the General Secretary, Bishop Abrahams who was only a few feet away when President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro shook hands at Nelson Mandela‘s memorial service on December 10 last year. On his return from Johannesburg last year Abrahams expressed the hope that, “the handshake might break the impasse and lead to a new dawn for all”.

The World Methodist Council lends its voice to the calls to for the United States Department 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.