WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 18, 2014) – Sister Cities International supports President Barack Obama’s historic announcement on the normalization of diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba.  We are particularly heartened by President Obama’s statement that “This is fundamentally about freedom and openness.  It also expresses my belief in the power of people to people engagement.”

Sister Cities International’s network includes a number of U.S.-Cuba sister city relationships: Bloomington, IL and Caibarien; Cambridge, MA and Cienfuegos; Tacoma, WA and Cienfuegos; Mobile, AL and Havana; Santa Fe, NM and Holguin; Pittsburgh, PA and Matanzas; Normal, IL and Remedios; Bloomington, IN and Santa Clara; Oakland, CA and Santiago de Cuba; and Boulder, CO and Yateras.

Sister Cities International President and CEO Mary D. Kane stated, “Sister Cities International welcomes President Obama’s decision to open U.S. relations with Cuba. Despite many challenges over the years, our members have maintained strong people-to-people connections with Cubans through sister city relationships. The Sister Cities International network is looking forward to helping more U.S. cities build strong connections with Cuban communities through cultural, educational, municipal, and economic development exchanges.”

Since its inception almost six decades ago, Sister Cities International has supported and encouraged grassroots-level community partnerships globally, including U.S.-Cuba sister city relationships. Past exchanges and activities by these sister city partnerships include humanitarian work, art and music exchanges, and sharing of practices in disaster preparedness, among others. Sister Cities International will continue to work towards growing and strengthening U.S.-Cuba sister city connections in the coming years.

For more information about Sister Cities International, please visit:

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About Sister Cities International

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for over 500 individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States with relationships in 2,000 communities in 140 countries. This sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, economic and sustainable development, and humanitarian assistance.

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Adam Kaplan
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