GLA URGES Congressman RUSH, Colleagues to Support Ms. Alina Lopez-Miyares, American Imprisoned in Cuba
On March 2, 2021, Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), along with over 70 Democratic members of Congress, penned a letter to President Biden urging the reversal of Trump Administration policies towards Cuba. The letter, calling for a renewed dialogue with the Cuban government and a return to the Obama-Biden Administration policy of engagement, made no mention of U.S. persons detained in Cuban prisons, nor any other unlawfully detained individuals in Cuba.
The Global Liberty Alliance sent a letter to Representative Rush and his other colleagues shortly after and, as GLA has done in other cases of Americans unlawfully imprisoned in foreign lands, urged Rep. Rush and his colleagues to help reunite Ms. Alina Lopez-Miyares with her family in Miami. Alina is South Florida schoolteacher who has been unlawfully detained by the Cuban regime for nearly four years.
In their letter to President Biden, the Representatives outlined several executive actions the new Administration should take quickly, including: reversing restrictions on remittances and travel to Cuba, removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, restarting diplomatic engagement with the Cuban government, increasing medical cooperation specifically on COVID-19, and ultimately ending the “embargo.” However, there was no mention of Alina's case - a matter that has been widely covered in the media for several years. Some of the Congressmen traveled to Havana with former President Obama in 2016,
Moreover, while the Congressmen strongly urge President Biden to lift restrictions and end the economic embargo, they failed to touch on U.S. laws which outline requirements Cuba must meet first. One specific obligation under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 specifically states the Cuban government must respect the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory nation.
Article 10 of the Declaration states; “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”
Ms. Alina Lopez has been denied consular services and a fair trial in Cuba. The Global Liberty Alliance, in a response sent March 9, respectfully requested Representative Rush and others in the Congress urge the Biden Administration to include Ms. Lopez in any renewed dialogues with the Cuban government moving forward. While support for Cuba is important, American policymakers should and must advocate for Americans. The case of Alina Lopez should be at the top of the priority list in terms of renewing ties with Cuba.
Congressman Rush’s office responded to GLA’s request for assistance nearly a month later, suggesting they would be unwilling to assist on casework matters for Americans outside of the 1st District of Illinois.
A copy of the March 2, 2021 congressional letter and the GLA response can be found below.
 PL 104-114, SEC. 205. Requirements and Factors for Determining a Transition Government. (a.6.B) “respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory nation.”
 See: https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights.