By Elio Delgado Legon
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.