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The People’s Forum Joint Initiative Writes Open Letter to President Biden to End Cuba Sanctions After Deadly Fire

NEW YORK - August 10, 2022 - (

A major fire has been burning at an oil storage facility in Matanzas, Cuba. In response, The People's Forum — an educational space and movement incubator for grassroots organizations — and allied groups wrote an urgent and public appeal to President Biden. The appeal has been signed by a prominent group of politicians, intellectuals, scientists, clergy, artists, musicians, leaders, and activists who call on the White House to immediately lift Trump's 243 unilateral and additional sanctions that are hindering Cuba's efforts to confront this fire and recover from a major energy crisis affecting the island. Signers include Roger Waters, Cornel West, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jeremy Corbyn, Rev. Liz Theoharis, Seun Kuti, and Vijay Prashad.

The letter was drafted because of the urgency of the situation and the immediate need to lift U.S. sanctions to allow international aid into the country. This fire, the largest in Cuban history, comes when Cuba is undergoing an energy crisis due to soaring global fuel costs and aging infrastructure. This oil tank fire will undoubtedly only further exacerbate the electricity outages that Cubans are suffering during this hot summer. It will have a negative impact on the general well-being of Cubans amid sanctions and a reinforced blockade imposed by the Trump administration and continued under Biden.

U.S. sanctions are fueling the fires that rage in Cuba. It has proven difficult or impossible for U.S. entities to provide desperately needed relief and response, despite assurances by the U.S. Embassy in Havana that the law authorizes U.S. entities to provide disaster relief and response. Due to the sanctions, there are long, complex processes to get licenses to send aid, usually taking months for approval. Additionally, Cuba's inclusion in the State Sponsors of Terrorism List means that banks in both the United States and abroad are reluctant to process humanitarian donations, making it essentially impossible to send desperately needed funds.

"We stand with the Cuban people," Biden wrote on July 12, 2022. The letter signers respond: "When your neighbor's house is on fire, the normal human reaction is to rush next door to help. Cuba is our neighbor!"

The United States loses nothing by being a good neighbor and lifting the 243 sanctions that prevent Cuba from recovering fully from this tragic moment. The Biden Administration can do more than just offer technical advice. It can immediately remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List with the stroke of a pen and send material aid to the island.

The open letter is a joint initiative between the ANSWER Coalition, IFCO/Pastors for Peace, CODEPINK, and The People's Forum to change the immoral and short-sighted policy of the U.S. blockade of Cuba and to provide much-needed medicine and medical supplies to the Cuban people.

Organizers are available for interviews.

The Open Letter and the list of signers can be found online at

For more information, contact [email protected] or 646-202-0552.

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Original Source: The People's Forum Joint Initiative Writes Open Letter to President Biden to End Cuba Sanctions After Deadly Fire

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ASMC Launches ‘The Business of Defense’ Video Podcast

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - August 9, 2022 - (

The American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) launched a new video podcast - The Business of Defense - in July 2022. ASMC is committed to bridging the gap between the boardroom and the battlefield while supporting transformation in the defense sector. The Business of Defense podcast brings viewers inside the companies working toward that goal, to hear directly from the business leaders, and to understand how they create value for their companies and their customers.

Produced in collaboration with WTOP News and Federal News Network, The Business of Defense is released on a monthly basis. It is available on Federal News Network and audio versions are available on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Each episode includes peer-to-peer conversations with business leaders in the defense/aerospace industry. Discussions include business strategy, markets, competition, risks and opportunities. Episode 1 with Sunny Singh, President & CEO of Aeyon, is available at, search "ASMC". Episode 2 with Mike Monson, President & Chief Customer Experience Officer at Definitive Logic, will be available in mid-August.

"Most transformational ideas, whether in the digital or financial management space, originate in the private sector. It is important for ASMC members, the defense financial management community, defense customers and commercial providers to have a better understanding of how defense contractors create value through new opportunities or the management of risk. This translates into better return on investment in terms of military readiness and national defense." Rich Brady, ASMC CEO and host of The Business of Defense.

About ASMC:

ASMC, established in 1948, is the non-profit educational and professional organization for persons, military and civilian, involved in the overall field of defense financial management. ASMC promotes the education, training, and certification of its members, and supports the development and advancement of the defense financial management profession. The Society provides professional programs to keep members abreast of current issues and encourages the exchange of information, techniques, and approaches.


Media Contact: 

Melissa Blacketer (703) 549-0360
[email protected]

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Original Source: ASMC Launches 'The Business of Defense' Video Podcast

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