End the illegal and inhuman blockade of Cuba!
The Communist Party of Canada denounces this past weekend’s US-backed destabilization efforts in Cuba. It is clear that protests in Cuba and the simultaneous demonstrations in cities outside the country had the hand of the US behind them.
The Communist Party of Canada extends its full solidarity to the Cuban people, the Cuban government and the Communist Party of Cuba as they defend their independence, their sovereignty and their socialist revolution. We salute the thousands of revolutionary Cubans, including President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who took to the street on Sunday to end this latest provocation.
The example the Cuban people have set in resisting imperialism and building socialism, despite an unrelenting six decades long hybrid war from the most powerful country in history, is a truly heroic example for the world of what is possible with unity and struggle.
The current emergency is a result of the ongoing illegal and immoral blockade which is strangling the country and creating undue hardship. On Sunday, July 11, some relatively small protests took place against the shortages of food, medicines and power supply. President Diaz-Canel immediately travelled to San Antonio de los Baños, the site of the original protest, and spoke with the people about their grievances.
However, counterrevolutionary groups active in Cuba, receiving money from the United States, called for protests in other locations and have tied protest demands to “humanitarian intervention” and a “humanitarian corridor”. This is fabricated on the lie that is being circulated that the Cuban government is somehow blocking humanitarian aid. This is completely false, and solidarity groups around the world have been mobilizing to send medical supplies to Cuba for the last year, helping in Cuba’s exceptional struggle against the pandemic, particularly because of the US sanctions.
The pretext of “humanitarian intervention” has been used by the United States and Canada to carry out regime change operations, bombings, invasions and occupations in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, to name only a few of the countries most recently destroyed by the United States and NATO. The voices calling for humanitarian intervention now are the same as those supporting the blockade which has led directly to the shortages Cuba is experiencing.
Only three weeks ago, the United Nations’ General Assembly passed a resolution calling for an end to the blockade for the 29th year in a row, with 184 countries in favour and two against (the US and Israel). The blockade not only stops Cuba from accessing goods from the US but stops global suppliers from dealing with Cuba since the US has sanctioned dozens of companies for doing business with Cuba. In 2018, the United Nations calculated the US blockade had cost Cuba over $130 billion. That was before the latest strengthening of the blockade and before COVID and the drying up of Cuba’s integral tourism industry.
The blockade has long been understood as a form of collective punishment, which is considered a war crime under international law. The effects of the blockade under the current pandemic has taken the inhumanity of this economic warfare to a whole new level. Last year the blockade prevented Cuba from receiving PPE, ventilators, COVID tests and other medical aid. Despite intense challenges during the pandemic, Cuba has developed several effective vaccines, maintained one of the lowest COVID fatality rates in the world and has sent thousands of doctors and nurses to dozens of countries around the world.
Despite saying he would reverse Trump’s strengthening of the blockade last year on the campaign trail, Joe Biden has not only left all of Trump’s 243 coercive measures against Cuba in place, but has tightened them further. Biden has not removed Cuba from the US’ “state sponsor of terrorism” list, which has further economic impacts for Cuba.
This is particularly cruel since the whole world knows that it is the US which is the world’s leading terrorist state, whose many crimes have included sponsoring terrorist acts against Cuba including bombing aircraft, ships and hotels resulting in the deaths of thousands. The US consistently spends millions on funding undercover “democracy promotion” in Cuba in total disregard of international laws against foreign interference. We cannot forget this as we watch counterrevolutionary groups in Cuba attempt to opportunistically use real hardships in Cuban life to deliver the country back to its old status as the playground of the US ruling class.
Despite all of the acts of aggression Cuba has been faced with, the island has maintained some of the highest human development indicators in the region in terms of health, education and life longevity. This is a testament to a united people and to Cuba’s socialist system.
All those concerned about the current crisis Cuba is facing must stand united against the blockade and struggle for its immediate end. Furthermore, the Canadian government must insist to the US administration that the blockade be ended immediately and all relations normalized with sovereign, independent and socialist Cuba.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada