Cambridge passes Policy Order calling for an end to the US Embargo of Cuba

City of Cambridge policy order on Cuba embargo, March 15, 2021
City of Cambridge policy order on Cuba embargo, March 15, 2021

by Merri Ansara

On Monday, March 15, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously for an end to the United States Embargo of Cuba.  Policy Order 2021 #50 calls for “the immediate restoration of engagement with the Republic of Cuba” and that the U.S. Congress “pass legislation that will finally end the unsuccessful and harmful 59-year old economic, financial and commercial embargo” as well as the restrictions on travel to and from Cuba. 

 Cambridge, a city of 110,000 people across the river from Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is home to Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as to a number of the country’s leading biotechnology and research institutes, including Moderna, developer of one of the leading Covid-19 vaccine

Today’s Policy Order follows closely on the heels of a unanimous vote by the City Council in October 2020 calling for collaboration between the United States and Cuban biopharmaceutical and medical centers on solutions to SARS-CoV-2, Covid 19. 

The Policy Order was introduced by Councillor Patricia Nolan and co sponsored by Councillors Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Dennis J. Carlone and Quinton Zondervan.  Councillors Carlone and Zondervan had introduced a similarly successful Policy Order in October that called for scientific and medical collaboration with Cuba, considering Cuba’s many successful epidemiological and medical approaches to Covid 19 including development of low cost vaccines.  A follow up conference or hearing is being considered to take place in the next several months.  The text of the order is posted at

Cambridge is the second city in as much as a month to call directly for lifting the U.S. embargo of Cuba, following a similar call from the City of Chicago.  It is also one of 16 resolutions passed by city and town councils over the past year, many of which have emphasized the need for collaboration with Cuba on Covid 19 treatments considering Cuba’s many advances in this regard.

In commenting on her motivation in submitting the Policy Order, Councillor Nolan said: “It is past time for the United States to have full relations – diplomatic, trade and travel – with Cuba, our close neighbor, since both our countries would benefit and can learn from each other.  The embargo should never have been instituted – it was only due to short sighted misguided policies of the Cold War era and the USA should join the rest of the world in establishing relations.”