French Citizens Condemn US Blockade on Cuba

Paris, Sep 16 (Prensa Latina) The solidarity organization ''Cuba Si France'' turned its stand at the L''Humanite Festival into a platform to reject the blockade imposed by the United States on the Caribbean island, which is still in force today.

'Many people are confused and think that the blockade ended. But we should clarify that this hostile policy is not only maintained, but tightened, and creates every day more difficulties for the economic development of the island,' the French lawmaker Andres Chassaigne said.

Chassaigne, who is the honorary president of Cuba Si France, also condemned the extraterritorial nature of this economic, commercial and financial siege, which affects Cuba's relations with the rest of the world.

The president of the association, Charlie Bouhana, reaffirmed the support for the Cuban people in their fight against the blockade.

He stated that despite the difficulties caused by Washington's policy, 'Cuba continues to write its own history,' in which 'the strength of the Revolution has allowed it to move forward.'

During the ceremony, attended by a large audience, the constitutional reform under debate in Cuba was also analyzed.

The event was part of many activities dedicated to Cuba at the L'Humanite Festival, which is considered the main meeting of progressive forces in France.

The festival began on Friday, September 14, with participation of more than 600,000 visitors.

 

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European Brigade Members Confirm Support for Cuba

Havana, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) Members of the 48th edition of the Jose Marti European Brigade of solidarity with Cuba today expressed their support for this nation, where they will participate in productive work, conferences and meetings with the people.

According to Maria Concepción Pereira, a brigade member from Portugal who has integrated 14 times these solidarity groups, coming to the island is very profitable both personally and collectively.

Pereira, a member of the Portuguese Communist Party, told Prensa Latina that her country does not know much about the island due to the right's dominance over the media.

They speak things about Cuba that are not real, they turn others around and present them in a distorted way, said the visitor, who insisted that the solidarity brigades contribute to spreading the Cuban reality in the world.

We here integrate ourselves and see the strength of the people, the goals and objectives for which they fight. We see unity, without which the Cuban Revolution would not have resisted so many years, and that makes us feel proud, he said.

For her part, Maria Luisa Ramos, Bolivian member of the European brigade, pointed out that the possibility of sharing in Cuba with people from several countries is very important to spread the truth about the Caribbean nation, the Latin American nation and coordinate initiatives at the international level.

It is relevant because it is not only solidarity with Cuba, but with ourselves to rekindle our ideas and, equally, have necessary doses of self-criticism, she added.

'We must continue supporting Cuba, which has been the light in the path of many people. It is a town that has given us a lot and that we owe a lot,' she said.

'We must continue to denounce the blockade -terrible and horrifying- to which the United States has subjected the island for having different ideas and fighting for freedom,' she added.

The current edition of the brigade has more than 90 members from Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Russia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden and Belgium.

In addition, citizens of other countries -including several Latin Americans- joined the aforementioned delegations.

The closing of the program will be on July 26, a date celebrated in Cuba as the Day of National Rebellion and in whose activities the brigade members will participate.

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Cuba Thanks Belarusian Solidarity in the Fight against Blockade

Havana, Jul 2 (Prensa Latina) The President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Fernando Gonzalez, thanked Belarus for its solidarity with this Caribbean country in its fight for the end of the U.S. blockade.

We recognize the support of Belarus in the demand of Cuba for the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the northern country on the island for almost six decades, stated Gonzalez in a ceremony for the 74th anniversary of the victory of Belarus over the fascism, celebrated in Havana.

In his words, the head of ICAP reminded the heroes and martyrs of that epic event when on July 3, 1944, the city of Minsk was liberated from the Nazi occupation.

Our solidarity hugs to the Belarusian people, reiterated Gonzalez and then referred to the agreements both nations are implementing in the economic, educational and scientific spheres.

He also spoke about the high level of bilateral relations and about the joint work in favor of peace that Cuba and Belarus have made in the Non-Aligned Movement and in the United Nations Organization.

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Pastors for Peace launches campaign across the U.S. in support of Cuba

Washington, June 26 (RHC)-- The U.S. organization Pastors for Peace, a special ministry of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), has launched a ten-day caravan of vehicles, traveling across the U.S., as a prelude to its already traditional "Friendshipment Caravan" to Cuba in July, started in 1992 by the late U.S. Reverend Lucius Walker. 

The caravan across 40 U.S. cities began over the weekend with public events in Seattle, Washington, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with IFCO representatives speaking about the U.S. blockade of Cuba and what needs to be done to achieve truly normal relations between Havana and Washington. 

Addressing those present at the Bolivarian Hall of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C., Bill Hackwell, a U.S. activist with Pastors for Peace, said that besides bringing much-needed humanitarian aid to the Cuban people, the caravans travel through US cities to raise awareness about the effects of the US blockade policy. 

“The caravans serve as an alternative people-to-people foreign policy, aimed at supporting the Cuban people's self-determination and the country's efforts toward sustainable development.” 

He said this year's 29th Caravan to Cuba focuses on the travel restrictions under Washington's nearly six decade-old blockade policy.  He noted that U.S. citizens are today still forbidden from traveling to Cuba as tourists.  And Bill Hackwell recalled that in order to travel to Cuba, U.S. citizens need permission, a license, from the U.S. government. 

Although in his final years, former President Barack Obama made licenses very easy to get, as well as taking some steps to reduce the underlying U.S. economic blockade of Cuba, President Trump has adopted a very hostile stance towards Cuba, partially reversing Obama’s actions, and reduced the possibilities for individual-licensed travel.

Since 1992, Pastors for Peace has taken 28 Caravans of people to Cuba without a license as a conscious act of civil disobedience.   Hackwell said some 40 people plan to travel to Cuba with the Caravan from July 16th through the 31st. During their stay, the caravanistas will have a packed agenda of activities, primarily in the eastern provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.

Before its arrival in Cuba, the caravan has planned activities through July 1st in 40 different U.S. cities, including Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Albany, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois, and in Atlanta, Georgia.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino

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