Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), together with Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Chair of the Rules Committee James P. McGovern (D-MA), issued the following statement urging the Biden Administration to provide humanitarian assistance to Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian: 

“We are grateful for the Biden-Harris Administration’s swift and substantial response to the devastation suffered by the people of Florida, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Caribbean nations significantly impacted by recent hurricanes. We are also deeply concerned about Hurricane Ian’s devastating consequences on the island of Cuba, including ongoing power outages and the lack of basic necessities for the Cuban people. We encourage the Biden Administration to immediately offer humanitarian assistance to the people of Cuba during this critical time. Now is not the time to let the history between our countries get in the way of the United States’ historical support for the people of other countries facing devastation in the wake of natural disasters, especially within our own hemisphere.

“The United States is the world’s leader in providing humanitarian relief, and the time to help the Cuban people is now. We also urge the Administration to suspend any relevant sanctions or regulations in order to expedite such a response, including the export of humanitarian or medical supplies to Cuba.

“Just as in our own country, significant recovery efforts will be necessary to rebuild from Ian’s devastation. Yet, even before Ian struck the island, Cuba was already facing multiple and severe overlapping crises. As the Chairs of the relevant foreign policy Committees and Subcommittees, we stand ready to assist the Administration in recognizing the humanitarian imperative by providing an immediate and fulsome humanitarian response to our neighbors in Cuba.”