When Washington banned to sell medicines and food to Cuba

Over half a century ago and until today, the US government suspended those transactions with Havana.

It happened on May 14, 1964, and the decision stirred up harsh criticisms even from humanitarian and learned sectors of that country.

Perhaps, the best synthesis of what was then written on that respect came from famous The New York Times newspaper.

It was published the following morning reflecting the concern of important sectors of the US society in the face of the new Cuba policy.

Using an unusually harsh language, The Times voiced alarm at the decision to extend the blockade to medicines and food.

Disclosed by the Associated Press (AP), the text of that editorial also said: “The complexity of U.S. policy towards Cuba has been demonstrated by two facts these days:

The decision to restrict its medicine and food sales to Cuba and its severe reprimand against young exiles who attacked a Cuban port and issued a triumphant statement in Miami”.

The New York Times continued to assert:

“Food and medicines were until today the only goods that could be shipped to Cuba without permission from the Government.

Now, specific licenses will be needed, clearly to reduce shipments.

Then, it pronounced itself: This is not the way to win the cold war against Cuba, nor is it the way to show the world the image of a humanitarian United States as a magnanimous country.

Immediately after, The Times wisely warned:

“United States will win nothing making Cubans starve more, nor will it win friends in Cuba making them suffer for the lack of medicines”.

55 years after that event, life absolutely sides with the very influential newspaper of New York.

Translated Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Why doesn’t Trump sanction Marco Rubio?

As Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel pointed out, the failed coup attempt that took place in Venezuela on Tuesday: “is another blow for the empire”.

And it must have been a very strong blow if you take into account the reaction that the failed attempt caused on US President Donald Trump:

"If Cuban troops and militia immediately do not cease their military and other operations with the purpose of causing death and destruction of the Constitution of Venezuela, a full and complete embargo, along with highest-level sanctions, will be imposed on the island of Cuba”.

“Hopefully, all Cuban soldiers will return to their island quickly and peacefully”, the US leader posted on his Twitter account.

It seems that the Cuban president had predicted such a threat, because at the aforementioned meeting and after praising the civic-military unity and the response of the Venezuelan people before the so-called “Operation Liberty”, he had added: “This is the response to the support Nicolas Maduro has, something that U.S. does not want to acknowledge and that’s why, it constantly resorts to say that we are the ones to blame for the situation in Venezuela, and they are not able to acknowledge that the Bolivarian people has also been loyal to Chavez and his Revolution”.

Other immediate replies to Trump’s latest threats against Cuba were two tweets by the foreign ministers of Cuban and Venezuela.

Cuban FM Bruno Rodríguez reiterated once again that there are no Cuban troops in Venezuela: "#US Nat Sec Advisor Bolton is a pathological liar who misinforms President Trump. There are no Cuban troops in #VENEZUELA, nor are there any Cubans participating in military or security operations. Only medical staff on humanitarian missions. I strongly reject Trump’s full blockade threat”.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s FM Jorge Arreaza asserted with full certainty: "@realDonaldTrump permanently denounces Fake News and fake information, but with regard to Venezuela and Cuba he devotes himself to disclose them irresponsibly. The White House should review the quality of its advisers and sources of information. They take them from mistake to mistake".

It is not the first time that a US president let his “advisors” trick him. Undoubtedly, the best example is that of J. F. Kennedy, whom the then hawks, the CIA and Cuban annexationist bourgeoisie that fled to the United States in 1959, swore up and down that after the landing of the mercenary brigade in Girón Beach, a popular uprising against the Revolution would immediately take place. We already know the end of that story that lasted less than 72 hours.

The same thing has been happening in Venezuela for months and might happen again, even, in case of a North American invasion against that Latin American nation. As Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) suggested today at a news conference, “The United States cannot understand that its aggressions increase the patriotism of the Venezuelan people, rather than diminishing it”.

It’s obvious that Trump has let himself be tricked by characters such as Sen. Marco Rubio, another liar of the same stock of Elliot Abrams, Bolton or self-confessed Mike Pompeo. In his speech at the University of Miami, on February 18, the US president defined his “great friend” Marco Rubio, as “the man who I call, especially when we’re talking about Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua".

Translated Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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

  • Published in Cuba
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