US Blockade Affects all Cuban Sectors

The rector of the University of Havana (UH), Miriam Nicado, said Friday that the US blockade against Cuba affects all sectors of society , even the academic.

'The confrontation goes beyond the ideology, it extends very strongly towards the academic side', denounced the Cuban MP in a meeting with the members of Pastors for Peace, who visited the University.

After thanking the presence of the North American group of solidarity with Cuba, Nicado recalled the continuous visits of Lucius Walker to the Caribbean nation in front of such a noble project, with which, he affirmed, he won the affection of the people of the island.

'Having her daughter here (Gail Walker) makes you feel that the story has not stopped and (...) is an example of the continuity of their work and solidarity,' she said.

Nicado praised the Pastors for Peace as patriots for their unequaled defense of collaboration and respectful relations between the Cuban and US people.

Similarly, the rector said that the new measures of the United States Government hinder academic exchange and, therefore, affect professionals at the University of Havana.

She added that every day the Cuban people feel more strongly the negative effects of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington for almost 60 years, which she considered an attempt of isolation and homicide against the Cubans.

Gail Walker thanked the caravan members, who come from the United States, Mexico and Canada; and many of them are for the first time in the Caribbean nation, she said.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba demands U.S. for $121 billion

In 2000, Roberto Conde Silverio was the national president of the Federation of High School Students (FEEM) and was part of the plaintiffs, on behalf of all Cubans, for the economic damage of the US blockade.

What were the antecedents of the lawsuit of the Cuban people against U.S. for the economic damages?

Before the lawsuit for economic damages, we filed the lawsuit for human damages, in which several witnesses were able to state their affectations from the physical and moral point of view. Later, the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP) approved a proclamation that, according to the 1948 Geneva Convention, declared the blockade as an act of genocide, and it was then that the organizations, led by the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) and the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC) reached an agreement and presented the ANPP the idea of demanding. This idea was accepted by the then president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, and there started a juridical, legal, real and objective lawsuit through the Ministry of Justice, in which we became plaintiffs on behalf all the Cuban people, and with more than enough, clear and convincing arguments, the suit was brought before the economic room of the City of Havana’s Provincial Court. This happened in the early 2000.

What did the FEEM have to demand?

The Federation of High School Students, as part of the people of Cuba, had many reasons, and not only specific issues of our generation. As Cuban people, we were interested in being able to denounce the economic and genocidal blockade of the US government imposed on our country, because it is a real affectation, not only to High Education centers, but to the health of FEEM students and their relatives as well, and it cannot be said that we suffered, but that we still suffer, because this act continues with impunity.

What did this lawsuit mean for the people of Cuba?

The people of Cuba is a fighting people, who has always been trained to fight, in the military, political and economic fields. Perhaps, we did not venture into the legal field with much experience, but after the lawsuits of the Cuban people against the government of the United States for human damages, after the presentation of the proclamation that was approved by our entire people, filing a suit for economic damages encouraged our desire, will and fighting spirit to denounce what was affecting us at that time.

I stress: 20 years have passed and it is still the same cause; several administrations have passed, but the objective remains the same, which is no other than making our people suffer economic limitations, so it may get upset, confronts the main leaders, does not recognize Socialism as an only political system to achieve prosperity. That’s why, it is necessary to explain that Socialism is not synonymous with setback, but with progress, spiritual growth, professional development and particular achievements. Unquestionably, with a blockade of this type, with laws like Helms-Burton, our job worsens, our road gets longer and our goals are sometimes unattainable, because they need a funding. But our people know the country where they live, know their Revolution, know who their leaders are and constantly express their decision to stand by this system and this Revolution.

From your point of view, what does this lawsuit mean for the current generations?

This lawsuit has full validity; firstly, because nobody has vouched for it, nobody has paid for it. At that time, the economic damages amounted to $121 billion; right now, that figure has doubled or tripled. The U.S. government is the one that should respond to the Cuban people for the moral and economic damage.

We cannot stop demanding. Many people were born after that moment, many people were born after that lawsuit was drafted, but all have the same level of affectation as those who lived the early years of the Revolution. The people of Cuba is only one, and it has always been willing to study its history, and this is an important chapter of our history, which we must study in depth. This is lawsuit is both legal and historical. Whoever reads the content of this lawsuit makes a quick review throughout the passages of these years, in which the country was really limited, and it remains the same in the present day. Therefore, it has full validity, and the invitation would be to redraft it and to continue demanding a response.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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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