The World Against the US Blockade on Cuba

By Elio Delgado Legon

Havana photo by Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – When the UN General Assembly meets on June 23, 2021 to put the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” resolution up for vote once again, for the 29th time, the entire world will almost unanimously vote in favor.

The US will be left alone, with its only company being its extension in the Middle East, Israel, and maybe Brazil’s fascist government. Two allies that no country should be proud to have.

In the lead-up to what will happen at the UN, an anti-blockade movement has emerged, that is protesting the last weekends of every month with caravans of cars, motorbikes, bikes, that have already hit 100 of the main cities in over 50 countries, including many cities in the US.

These protests are calling for the US government to put an end to the blockade, which has been labeled genocide, violating the human rights of an entire nation for six decades. While the US insists on calling it an “embargo”, it’s really economic warfare that persecutes anyone who handles a Cuban transaction, sanctioning banks and companies that intervene.

Logically, this persecution policy makes things hard for Cuba’s foreign trade, both for imports and exports, as well as making it difficult for Cuba to pay for imports and charge for exports, where banks play a key role.

Incredibly though, when the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe, including in Cuba, the blockade was reinforced with new measures that made it hard to not only get a hold of medicines and medical supplies, but also to receive donations.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) made calls for solidarity between countries, as did the Pope of the Catholic Church, the US government has turned a deaf ear to these appeals and carried on implementing more and more measures against the island.

Cuba has developed its own vaccines, and it would have been impossible to vaccinate the entire population if it weren’t for the solidarity much of the world has shown us, who are collecting medical supplies to support vaccinations, a humanitarian gesture that challenges the blockade.

For example, the Italy-Cuba Friendship Association has managed to raise 800,000 euros to buy 10 million syringes and needles for Cuba. In France, associations Cuba Linda and France Cuba have raised 60,000 euros to buy almost 750,000 syringes and needles. Nicaragua has sent 130,000 syringes. The Antonio Maceo Cultural Association of Cuban residents in Costa Rica and Cuba solidarity organizations in this country will send health supplies.

Furthermore, Cubans in Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Mexico will also contribute towards these efforts. In the US, organizations like Codepink Women for Peace will also join anti-blockade groups Puentes de Amor and NEMO to also contribute towards these efforts.

They propose to send almost 30 million syringes between them all, in solidarity, so as to ensure Cuba has all of the resources it needs to vaccinate its population before the end of 2021.

In a call to the International Relations Committee belonging to Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, thanks was given to all of the parliaments, parliamentary groups, organizations, bodies and individuals, who have spoken in favor of lifting the blockade and expressing the following:

“The blockade is the most comprehensive, unfair and extended form of economic warfare that has ever been applied against a country. It violates International Law and the proposals and principles compiled in the UN Letter. It is a morally unsustainable policy that constitutes as genocide. It targets the Cuban people’s wellbeing, social stability and making sure they have their basic needs met. It places significant obstacles in the path of national development and deprives the nation of important financial and material resources that it needs to run the economy on a daily basis, to provide essential services and life in the country, on the whole.”

According to the Cuban government, the economic damage the island’s people have suffered over all these years is above 144.4 billion USD. Likewise, it is not a policy that only affects Cuba, but also many other countries and even US citizens. Such is why virtually the entire world is against the US blockade against Cuba.

Read more of Elio Delgado Legón’s diary here.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

9 thoughts on “The World Against the US Blockade on Cuba

  • Not that I expect any less from Elio in his largely inaccurate support for the Castro dictatorship but it must be restated in response that the US embargo is the least of Cuba’s problems.

  • U.S. policies toward Cuba restrict the freedom of U.S. citizens and residents to travel where they choose and to do what they want with their own hard earned money.
    There is a very good argument for the policies being unconstitutional in that they deny the freedoms that all those good people fought for back in the 1770s.
    U.S. policies also intimidate innocent people and businesses from other countries and try to manipulate their freedom to choose what to do and where to go.
    People can go ahead and criticise Elio for supporting the Cuban Government which he most definitely does. It is the prerogative of commentators here to criticise whatever and whoever they wish to criticise.
    But it is an absolute, undeniable, plain and obvious fact that representatives of the vast overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Planet Earth democratically vote against the embargo on an annual basis.
    The only government to vote with the USA in this matter is the apartheid regime of Israel.
    The usual apologists often comment here that the embargo is meaningless and harmless.
    If that was the case, it wouldn’t need apologists.
    The continued embargo shows contempt for freedom and disdain toward democracy.

  • Stephen, you write “Is the United States also to blame for the misery brought about by its relentless blockade towards Cuba? I am sure no one will dispute that.” Are you kidding ? Most of the commenters here believe that the US embargo has no effect on Cuba in the least. Verdad Olga ?

  • I am sure glad there were some replys as I was starting to swallow Elios words as honest facts, OR thinking I just caught a bad case of Covid dementia. That can happen I was told.

  • The Saving Lives Campaign thru the work of Global Health Partners (GHP) in NYC and with the support of innumerable Cuba solidarity groups and individuals has raised over $350,000. USD to send the first 2 container shipments of syringes from the USA to Cuba. GHP has already secured all the relevant licenses from the US government required under the provisions of the blockade and sourced the syringes in the USA. That will b e 4 million syringes (2 million in June and 2 more in July) and we will keep going after that to send more. Go to the Global Health Partners website to help
    Peggy Gilpin

  • We know Elio supports the oppressive communist dictatorship.
    And lies that it’s a democracy.
    He has zero interest in improving the country.

  • Elio’s entirely one-sided articles in HT are a worthwhile counter balance to the entirely one-sided articles of certain other contributors.
    In this instance he is correct to point out that the entire world can see that this sorry assed little embargo for what it is. I agree with Stephen that ‘genocide’ is not the correct word.
    I would use such as ‘pathetic’ or ‘corrupt’.
    Or ‘anti-democratic’.
    …….to better describe this embargo.
    I have friends in Cuba who’s entrepreneurial efforts are stymied by U.S. policy. It is a great shame that their hard work is thwarted to such an extent by U.S. policy.
    Cuba is a one party state and therefore described as undemocratic.
    The USA is effectively a two party state. We can see that many within one of those parties are clearly no longer in favour of democracy. That was blatantly evident during the recent presidential election. So where does that leave the USA’s ‘democracy’ in comparison?
    This embargo is aimed at securing FLA electoral college votes. Nothing more nothing less.
    The pretext is Cuba’s democratic deficiency.
    The reality is that it illuminates the paucity of the fragile democracy within the USA.

    I’m a big fan of both these countries despite their various flaws. But this dumb ass and ignorant embargo benefits neither of them.

  • The U.S. faces a binary choice about its unilateral embargo when the annual resolution is voted on by the UN General Assembly on June 23. Will it follow Trump’s policy and vote against or restore the Obama policy and abstain?

    When Samantha Powers was Ambassador to the UN, she gave a strong speech for abstention and received a rare ovation from the nations present.

    Hopefully her successor, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be given the same more honorable opportunity.

    It would also be a great time for the Biden-Harris Administration to restore unlimited remittances and general licenses for all purposeful travel. Five months after taking office is long enough for a policy review while still allowing the dead hand of Trump to call the shots.

    So far 4,402 Biden supporters have spoken

  • Elio has used the word “genocide” twice in his article to denounce the United States’ acrimonious relations with Cuba. Elio initially writes: “These protests are calling for the US government to put an end to the blockade, which has been labeled genocide …” Elio, exactly who labeled the economic blockade against Cuba a genocide besides the Cuban communist Party and its allies?

    Secondly, Elio states: “It is a morally unsustainable policy that constitutes as genocide.” According to him a morally unsustainable policy constitutes a genocide? Really.

    What exactly is meant by the loaded term “genocide” as it pertains to the relations between the United States and Cuba? According to the United Nations, which Elio likes to quote to his advantage, the word is defined as follows:

    “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
    1. Killing members of the group;
    2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” (United Nations – Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect)

    With that elaborate and extensive definition, the reader must ask themselves whether the United States, and this word is key – intended – either through proven omission or proven commission on the part of the perpetrator – the United States – to destroy a group of people, in this case all Cubans . Has the United States and its allies, as Elio states, “ . . . its extension in the Middle East, Israel, and maybe Brazil’s fascist government.” intended to physically destroy all Cubans? Very hard case to prove, unequivocally, in a court of international law. In communist Cuba, case closed. Guilty.

    What are some concrete examples of genocide in recent history. The Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews during the Second World War is one extraordinary, tragic example. No dispute there. Some countries, some Western media outlets have labeled what the Chinese communist government is doing to the Muslim Uygurs as a genocide. There are debates both for and against the use of that loaded term towards China.

    What the Cuban communist government needs to do is ask itself whether it wants to continue subjugating its citizens to a totalitarian style of government where citizens have no right to freely express themselves without jail time, where Cuban citizens work extremely hard but cannot feed their families causing untold misery, despair and desperation. It is these harsh communist government policies and inactions that may be partially, some say wholly, to blame for the so called genocidal condition of Cuba today.

    Is the United States also to blame for the misery brought about by its relentless blockade towards Cuba? I am sure no one will dispute that. But to use hyperbolic language such as “genocide” indicates how desperate the Cuban communist government is to deflect it incompetence and mismanagement of the entire Cuban state since 1959.

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