Cuba deserves international solidarity

Thousands of Cuban citizens rally in Havana and across the country in support of their government

LATEST:Statement of the World Peace Council on the recent protest events in Cuba:

Recent events in Cuba have made headlines around the world. That, of course, does not mean that we are getting the full picture or even that the reports are true.

For nearly 60 years, the United States has enforced an embargo against Cuba, severely restricting the flow of goods to the island. US companies are forbidden from dealing with Cuba and various US laws punish foreign companies that do business in Cuba. Since the late 1950s US government policy, and the purpose of the sanctions, has been “regime change” – or, in everyday language, overthrowing the Cuban government.

Since Joe Biden took up office earlier this year, he has continued the illegal economic sanctions against the Cuban people, ratcheted up the anti-Cuban rhetoric, pandered to the right-wing lobby of Cuban exiles in Miami and conspired to create a climate which seeks to destabilise the Cuban government.

Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel has denounced what he said was a false narrative over recent events. Speaking alongside ex-president Raul Castro during a rally in front of thousands of supporters in Havana, the President said “What the world is seeing of Cuba is a lie”. He went on to denounce the posting of false images on social media designed to “encourage and glorify the outrage and destruction of property.”

The Cuban government has also criticised the European Union for its uncritical support of the Biden administration and its failure to call out the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the United States government has imposed on Cuba for more than six decades.

Despite the United Nations repeatedly condemning the US sanctions they remain in effect. Cuba is being punished by the most powerful nation in the world for choosing to live, work and play under its own alternative political system. Cuba has removed the price tag from such fundamental human necessities as health and education and its near neighbour has reacted by attempting to overthrow its government and impose its own values on the Cuban people.

Now more than ever, Cuba needs, and deserves, the unwavering support of the international community.

UNBLOCK CUBA – the US and Israel defy the World

Party members were amongst those who recently helped construct the giant UNBLOCK CUBA message on Belfast’s Black Mountain

The United Nations General Assembly has, once again, overwhelmingly voted in favour of Cuba’s resolution demanding the end of the US blockade. In a strong show of support for Cuba, 184 countries voted in favour, and only 2 against (US and Israel), while 3 countries abstained (Colombia, UAE and Ukraine).

This was the 29th vote on the blockade, but the first under the Biden administration. There has been no change of policy since his election in January 2021. This is the longest blockade inflicted against a country and its people in modern history.

In an updated report to the United Nations on the impact of US sanctions during April-December 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuba said that the intensification of the blockade during this time forced the island “to fight against the most terrible pandemic in decades and against the lengthiest and all-embracing system of coercive measures ever. There is no justification for such gargantuan cruelty.”

The cost of the US blockade against Cuba since its imposition almost six decades ago amounts to over 147.8 billion dollars. Between April and December 2020 alone, it cost the Cuban economy more than $3.5 billion. During this time the US government deliberately blocked a delivery of medical equipment and PPE to help fight COVID-19.

Since 1991, the Cuban government has submitted to the United Nations General Assembly the draft resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo of the United States of America against Cuba”, which every year receives the support of the international community.

Today, for the 29th time, the US and its ally, Israel, shamefully continues to support this cruel and cynical blockade, which has been escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in defiance of world opinion.

The two states which opposed the ending of the blockade, and indeed the three regimes which abstained, all have a record of repression, exploitation and injustice.   

The Workers Party applauds Cuba which clearly has world opinion on its side, condemns this continuing US crime against Cuba and its people and calls for an immediate and unconditional end to the blockade.

The US still fears the revolutionary example of Cuba which puts people before profits and which through its many humanitarian missions, solidarity and selfless internationalism is an inspiration to humanity. The world has again spoken. It is time to end the blockade.