Today and tomorrow, an international tribunal is being held in the Belgian capital to denounce the damages suffered by the Cuban people as a result of the U.S. blockade that the island has been experiencing for more than six decades. This tribunal was convened last July 18 at the parallel summit of the peoples that took place in Brussels and from the very first moment it was a call to debate in the European Parliament, in a political and legal way, the effect of the blockade and the denunciation of its extraterritoriality. The violation of the sovereignty not only of the Cuban people, but also of the European peoples and people who want to relate to Cuba.
US officials frequently talk about the “rules-based international order”, and label other countries as “rogue states” if Washington doesn’t like their policies. But a look at votes in the United Nations clearly shows that the United States consistently opposes the will of the entire international community. The world saw a striking example of this on November 2, when almost every country on Earth supported a UN General Assembly resolution that called to end the US embargo against Cuba. Only two countries voted against the measure: the United States and Israel. Just one country abstained: Ukraine.
They came to Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, from all over the country on their own resources. Some paid for over priced plane tickets to this region of New England, some took buses, but regardless it was worth it because “Cuba is calling us,” as a young activist from Virginia told me. Representatives of now 70 organizations (13 new groups joined at this meeting) are gathered here for the US National Network of Solidarity with Cuba’s (NNOC) annual conference to analyze, develop and to come up with new strategies. It also provides a renewed impetus to their main objective which is to lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade, imposed for more than 60 years by both Democratic and Republican governments, on the largest of the Antilles.
On August 31, US-based airline JetBlue announced that it has suspended all flights to Cuba, effective September 17. In 2016, when US-Cuba relations began to thaw, JetBlue flew the first direct commercial flight to Cuba from the US in 50 years. American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest, and Delta will still provide direct flights to Cuba from the US, however, United will cut its direct flights from Newark, New Jersey in October. “Demand for travel to the island has been significantly affected by changes to the regulatory landscape and restrictions on our customers’ ability to enter Cuba,” stated the airline.
On August 11, artists, intellectuals, political leaders, people’s movements, trade unions, and political parties from around the world launched a historic campaign to call on US President Joe Biden to remove Cuba from the state sponsors of terrorism list. The convening organizations of this campaign, the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA), ALBA Movimientos, Foro de São Paulo, Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, Jornada Continental por la Democracia y Contra el Neoliberalismo, World March of Women, Continental Latin American and Caribbean Network in Solidarity with Cuba, and La Vía Campesina, seek to collect more than one million signatures on a letter addressed to Biden asking that Cuba be removed from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Economic sanctions have a long and brutal history, almost as long as the history of war itself. What they don’t have— especially in recent memory— is a history of accomplishing their ostensible goal of changing governments’ behavior. Over the past 30-plus years, roughly beginning with the 1990 – 1991 Gulf crisis and U.S.-led war against Iraq, Washington’s imposition of harsh economic sanctions has vastly expanded. Whether imposed directly or compelled by the United Nations under U.S. pressure, sanctions are often described as an “alternative” to war — softer, less deadly, more humane.
Culminating a week of activism in Washington DC in support of the Cuban people, 500 people gathered here today in the plaza that holds the statue of the Argentinian liberator General José de San Martín, that ironically is located next to the US State Department where offices work overtime to come up with ways and methods to punish Cuba for insisting on its sovereignty. The majority of the protestors came from the cities on the East Coast including New York, Boston Philadelphia, Baltimore, Virginia, South Carolina and a delegation from Puentes de Amor from Florida. Prior to the march a large art mosaic made up of 100 panels was assembled and meticulously held up by activists conjuring a temporary image that referenced Cuba be taken of the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
In a growing mosaic of solidarity across the US, people are taking to the streets to say no to the way their government is punishing Cuba for their example of humanity in these precarious times. This weekend in over 30 cities there will be protests to visibly express it. In Washington DC there will be a national focus with a march on the White House to bring attention to a callous foreign policy that has endured through democratic and republican administrations generating an ever turning multi-million dollar industry based on hatred guided by greedy corrupt politicians with no regard to the consequences for the Cuban people.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a Rogue State as “a nation or state regarded as breaking international law and posing a threat to the security of other nations.” This simple and neat definition not only perfectly captures the character of the relationship between Cuba and the United States, but also the character of U.S. policies toward the nations and peoples of our region and the world since its ascendancy as a global power at the end of the second imperialist war in 1945. And what was the driving interest for much of U.S. policies during the period since 1945? To prevent authentic decolonization in the Global South by incorporating emerging nations into its orbit of control.
This May Day, youth activists from the United States traveled to Cuba to learn about the revolution and to show their solidarity with the struggle against US imperialism. Clearing the FOG spoke with Calla Walsh of the US-based National Network on Cuba about the trip and about the campaign to remove Cuba from the 'state sponsor of terrorism' list, which President Biden recently renewed. Additionally, members of Congress are pushing the FORCE Act, which would make it harder for Cuba to be removed from the list. Days of action are planned in Washington, DC at the end of June to demand that the United States stop its illegal economic blockade of Cuba.
From April 24 to May 3, over 150 young organizers from the United States traveled to Cuba as part of a brigade organized by the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA) to learn about the Cuban process and stand in solidarity with the island nation against the criminal US blockade. The organizers returned to the US with an even greater commitment to continue building their struggles at home and to fight for the end of the blockade of Cuba. Peoples Dispatch spoke to Phil Agnew of Black Men Build, D’Atra “Dee Dee” Jackson of Black Youth Project 100, Kawenaʻulaokalā Kapahua of Academic Labor United, Lillian House of the Party for Socialism and Liberation...
Pueblo a Pueblo [People to People] is a grassroots plan for organizing the production, distribution, and consumption of food, which connects agricultural producers with urban dwellers. In so doing, the project breaks with the despotic dictates of the capitalist market. In Part I of this three-part piece in the Communal Resistance Series, Pueblo a Pueblo’s spokespeople talk about their organization’s history and its objectives. Here, in Part II, associate producers and spokespeople talk about the “Double Participation Ladder” method and about the impact of the US blockade. Double Participation Ladder The ladder image reflects Pueblo a Pueblo’s method for ensuring that rural producers and urban consumers are linked, thus breaking away from the centrifugal forces of the market.
May 28, 2023 will mark exactly two years to the date of Rep. Jim McGovern’s letter imploring President Biden to “stop using the Venezuelan people as a bargaining chip.” “The impact of sectoral and secondary sanctions is indiscriminate, and purposely so,” the congressman wrote in what has been referred to by policy experts as “the best letter that we’ve ever seen out of Congress on sanctions, period.” His letter was applauded by his constituents and human rights defenders around the world and remains frequently cited by leading experts in the field – including supporters of the Venezuelan opposition who are calling for an end to the US sanctions.
This year’s May Day celebration in Cuba was interrupted by severe storms that knocked out electricity in much of the country. Authorities had no choice but to postpone the traditional mass marches. But for over 150 young grassroots organizers from the United States who had traveled to the country to mark the holiday, this turn of events was just more reason to deepen their efforts to end the US-imposed blockade of the country. Miya Tada, a brigade participant from New York, explained how this showed that “the biggest obstacle the Cuban people are facing is the repression and economic warfare of our own government, and that just inspires me to further the struggle against the blockade back in the United States.”
This morning, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel received at the Palace of the Revolution 300 friends of Cuba, coming from the United States to demand an end to the blockade. Brigades, groups and other delegations are in Cuba to take part in the May 1 activities celebrating the International Day of Workers and to show their solidarity with the Cuban people who have withstood the longest continuous blockade in modern history. Students, trade unionists, lawyers and political activists are here many making their first visit to the socialist island. Recognizing this President Díaz-Canel said: “from the United States we not only receive sanctions and blockades, we also receive your friendship, support, trust and hope”.