CELAC and EU call for end of U.S. blockade of Cuba

The foreign ministers of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) called Tuesday for the end of the blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States, since "it has caused undue humanitarian consequences for the Cuban people." 

"We reiterate our rejection of the application of those coercive measures of a unilateral nature with extraterritorial effect," the ministers said in the statement signed after a meeting in Brussels of the EU and CELAC foreign officials. 

The ministers also reaffirmed their rejection of the application of the extraterritorial provisions of the Helms-Burton Act, approved by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, which states that any non-U.S. company operating in Cuba may be subject to legal reprisals. 

In this regard, representatives of the EU and CELAC stressed that the United Nations General Assembly had adopted a resolution condemning this blockade, which was only opposed by the United States and Israel. 

"These measures are damaging the legitimate development of commercial ties between Cuba, the European Union and other countries," concluded the EU and CELAC foreign ministers. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
  • Published in Cuba

End of U.S Blockade Against Cuba is Demanded in Streets of Miami

Washington, July 9 (Prensa Latina) The Martiana Alliance coalition, which gathers various organizations of Cuban emigrants in the U.S. city of Miami, Florida, called today for a new protest against the U.S. blockade imposed on the island.

It also called for a full normalization of relations between the two peoples and governments, and an end to restrictions on Americans traveling freely to Cuba.

With these purposes in mind, the Martiana Alliance plans to hold a caravan of cars next Saturday along important avenues in Miami.

We cannot sit idly while our families and the rest of the Cuban people suffer the consequences of these cruel and arbitrary policies by the administration of President Donald Trump,' said Andres Gomez, national coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, a member of that entity.

He also criticized the position of the Cuban extreme right wing allied with the government in the city.

On March 10, a caravan similar to the one planned became a way of protesting against Washington's decision, days before, on its embassy in the Caribbean.

The initiative was then valued as very good and timely by Damien Diaz, president of the Martiana Alliance.

There were no provocations by right-wing and anti-Cuban groups against our cars, and we felt the positive support of many people during the tour, Diaz told Prensa Latina.

We even heard shouts of Long Live Cuba! and Long Live the Revolution! as we travel down busy avenues in Southwest and near the University of Miami, he added.

As they have done on other occasions, the participants in the two-hour caravan also expressed their rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba more than 55 years ago.

The U.S. State Department announced on March 2 that it will continue indefinitely to reduce staff at its embassy in Havana, despite calls from various groups to allow the return of diplomats and officials.

The number of people in the legation is similar to the level of emergency maintained after the September 29 departure order when Washington withdrew more than half of its officials citing health incidents reported by them.

A few days after such a move, the United States expelled 17 diplomats from the island's embassy in Washington.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Will Maintain Aid on Disaster Prevention Despite U.S. Blockade

Havana, Jul 4 (Prensa Latina) The head of the National General Staff of Civil Defense, Major General Ramon Pardo, assured here that Cuba will maintain its international aid on disaster prevention despite the U.S. blockade.

'Our country that suffers an inhumane and cruel economic, commercial and financial blockade for over five decades is in a position to continue contributing through organizations such as the Association of Caribbean States,' Pardo ensured to the participants of the 10th International Congress of Disasters.

Pardo also explained the characteristics of the Cuban Civil Defense system, which, he stressed, has its essence in the vision and humanist character of the Revolution and its historical leader, Fidel Castro.

He noted that the island has a national platform to reduce disasters and strengthen resilience, which is constantly improving, he argued.

Among the tools created in the Caribbean nation to reinforce the warning system he mentioned the methodologies for studies of danger, vulnerabilities and territorial risk, and the State's plan for confronting climate change.

Pardo pointed out that Cuba maintains as a priority the surveillance system and the preparation of the people on rules of behavior and procedures against threats with actions such as the Meteoro exercise, which is carried out annually since 1986.

The 10th International Congress on Disasters, which began on Tuesday and will end on Friday, brings together experts from Cuba and several countries to strengthen collaboration in response to adverse weather events.

  • Published in Cuba

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.

  • Published in Cuba

Minneapolis: Another city votes for Cuba

Minneapolis is now the eighth U.S. city to call for ending the U.S. blockade of Cuba. The City Council unanimously voted on May 25 to build “a new cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Cuba and to immediately end all aspects of the U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba including all restrictions on travel to Cuba.”

The Minnesota Cuba Committee organized support for this resolution. Its primary author was City Councilmember Andrea Jenkins. According to her city biography, Jenkins is “a writer, performance artist, poet and transgender activist. She is the first African American openly trans woman to be elected to office in the United States.”

Minneapolis also called on the Trump administration to “reestablish the diplomatic staff withdrawn from the U.S. Embassy in Havana” and restore the diplomatic staff expelled from the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Although the U.S. formally maintains an embassy in Havana, which was reestablished in 2015, staff reductions made permanent on March 2 have turned the building into a shell, unable to process visas for Cubans wanting to visit or migrate to the U.S. At the same time, the U.S. has ordered 17 Cuban diplomats to leave the U.S., targeting staff who work to develop the blockade-limited commercial relations between U.S. entities and Cuba.

An essential part of regime change plots hatched in the U.S. State Department is to block the truth about Cuba’s socialist revolution from reaching the general U.S. population. But polls show that the Trump administration’s hostile Cuba policy is out of step with popular sentiment in the U.S. as well as across the globe. The United Nations General Assembly annually votes against the unilateral U.S. economic strangulation, most recently by 191 to 2 with only the U.S. and Israel defending the blockade.

From May 8-20, Cuban artists participated in the two-week “Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World” festival held in Washington, D.C. This celebration of Cuban music, film, visual art, culture and dance has been extended through June 3. How will other such artists now be able to wow U.S. audiences without visas?

In Cuba, art and sports are human rights along with health care and education. The Trump administration is trying to administratively choke off people-to-people “points of contact” between Cuba and the U.S. Recently inaugurated Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said that the two countries can still build bridges. He told the artists: “I don’t believe that the current position will be eternal, and things like what you have accomplished in Washington … can open the way.” 

The Minnesota Cuba Committee also sponsors an annual Cuban film festival and has developed long-standing collaboration with Cuban universities, including exchange programs. It recently welcomed the Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico, executive director of the Cuban Council of Churches, who also visited Detroit and Washington, D.C. Dopico met with City Councilmember Andrea Jenkins during his visit to Minneapolis.

The following cities have also passed resolutions calling for ending the cruel U.S. blockade of Cuba, its much smaller island neighbor: in California, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and Sacramento; Brookline, Mass.; Hartford, Conn.; and Helena, Mont. In 2016 the California Federation of Labor passed a strong resolution against the blockade.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba says won't accept US threats or pressures

Cuba on Saturday slammed U.S. policy towards Latin America, calling it a return to a past of "domination and impositions," adding that Havana won't accept threats or pressure from Washington to modify its political system.

"Cuba won't accept threats or pressures from the United States. It doesn't want confrontation, but will not negotiate or cede one millimeter in its socialist principles," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in remarks at the ongoing eighth Summit of the Americas.

Rodriguez, who was leading the island country's delegation to the meeting, highlighted that the thawing ties between Washington and Havana were maintained since 2015 until Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency and decided to roll back the detente.

"The U.S. economic blockade and the financial persecution continue, but at the same time Washington is further isolated when it comes to their policy towards Cuba," he said.

According to the foreign minister, Cuba is currently in the presidential election process that will last until April 19, 2019 when Cubans decide a new president to succeed incumbent Raul Castro, younger brother and fellow revolutionary of Communist Cuba's founder Fidel Castro.

In addition, Rodriguez said that the younger generations in Cuba are closely linked to the ruling Communist Party, and that they will "firmly" commemorate the Fidel-led revolutionary troops' victory in defending the island against a U.S.-masterminded aggression in the early 1960s.

He was referring to the failed Playa Giron -- literally Bay of Pigs -- invasion of Cuba in April 1961 by U.S.-sponsored mercenaries comprised of mostly Cubans traveling in exile to the United States after Fidel Castro overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.

"Cubans, especially the younger generations, closely linked to the (Communist) Party, founded by (Jose) Marti and Fidel (Castro), together with Raul (Castro), will commemorate firm, secure and optimistic victory against the mercenary aggression in Playa Giron," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez warned of Washington's aspiration to re-establish its "imperialist domination" in Latin America, imposing Cold War era policies and a return to the "Monroe Doctrine," a 19th century strategy to control the region for political and economic purposes.

"Now the objective is to restore imperialist domination, destroy national sovereignties with unconventional interventions, overthrow popular governments, reverse social achievement and restore continental neo-liberalism in a continental scale," he said.

The Cuban diplomat said Washington has returned to the "use of force" and the "imposition of unilateral coercive measures" in its policy towards the region.

"We will only advance through integration and unity within the diversity that led to the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Recent events show that the Organization of American States (OAS) and especially its secretary general are mere instruments of the United States," he said.

The official also expressed the island country's solidarity with Venezuela, saying the exclusion of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from the summit was a "historic setback" imposed by the United States.

The diplomat also condemned Saturday's missile strikes on Syrian government facilities by the United States, Britain and France.

Suspended for decades by the OAS, Cuba only returned to the Summit of the Americas in 2015 when the seventh version of the gathering was held in Panama.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Ambassador Is Satisfied with Visit to Lebanon

Beirut, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina) Ambassador Hector Igarza Cabrera, director of the Northern Africa and Middle East Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, expressed satisfaction with the results of his visit to Lebanon.

Diplomatic sources told Prensa Latina that Igarza met with the general secretary of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, Hani Chemaitelly, and with the director for Political and Consular Affairs, Ghadi Khoury.

The two parties exchange viewpoints on the regional and international political situation, as well as on relations between Havana and Beirut.

They also ratified their will to develop and expand cooperation between the two countries.

The Lebanese officials acknowledged and expressed gratitude for Cuba's staunch stance in the defense of the Arab causes and especially the Palestinian people's right to have an independent and sovereign State.

For his part, the Cuban diplomat described the Lebanese government's position against the unjust and absurd U.S. blockade of Cuba as valuable.

  • Published in Cuba

Evo Morales Reaffirms Bolivia's Support for Cuba vs. U.S. Blockade

President Evo Morales reaffirmed yesterday Bolivia's support for Cuba in the struggle against the economic and financial blockade imposed by the United States on the Caribbean island for more than 50 years.

The president posted on his Twitter account @evoespueblo: 'We reiterate our solidarity with the sister Republic of Cuba, which for more than 50 years has heroically faced the U.S. criminal blockade, hardened by a government determined to impose its arrogance, pride and racism at the expense of world peace and the people's peaceful coexistence.'

Morales criticized the measures adopted by Washington and described them as 'the worst attack on the principles of sovereign equality of the States.'

He also called for non-intervention and non-interference by the United States in internal affairs, because 'they violate the rights to freedom of commerce and navigation,' he said.

On November 1, during the presentation at the United Nations of the draft resolution entitled 'Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America on Cuba', the permanent representative of Bolivia, Sacha Llorenti, asked for the total lifting of that measure.

Llorenti affirmed that the blockade of Cuba is unjust, immoral and illegitimate, and an example of the United States' unilaterality.

'The United States imposes a blockade that contravenes the UN Charter, undermines the principles of sovereignty and attempts to undermine the Cuban people's self-determination,' he stressed.

  • Published in Cuba
Subscribe to this RSS feed