CODEPINK Welcomes Embassies in Cuba and USA, Calls on Congress to Lift Embargo

Medea Benjamin.  Photo:
Medea Benjamin. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — The US peace group CODEPINK welcomed the July 1 announcement in Havana and Washington about the historic re-opening of embassies in the United States and Cuba.

“We view the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between our nations as a crucial step forward to fully normalizing relations. However, despite this encouraging act of diplomacy, more work needs to be done, including lifting the travel ban and the embargo, and returning the Guantanamo Naval Base to the Cuban people.

“Although an official US embassy will be housed in Havana with the American flag flying above its gate, American citizens still face restrictions that prohibit them from freely traveling to Cuba. Congress should ignore the few representatives who are opposed to normalization, and immediately pass the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act to allow Americans to travel to Cuba just as they are allowed to travel anywhere else in the world. This should be followed by the passage of the bill to lift the embargo, finally putting to rest the Helms Burton Act that codified the failed American policy of isolation and hostilities.

“The opening the embassies in Havana and Washington is a great and historic step, but everything that President Obama has done can be undone by the next president,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “Congress must now step up and pass the needed legislation to finally put an end to the antiquated policies towards Cuba that have failed for 54 years.”

“CODEPINK also calls on the US government to close the prison in Guantanamo and return the Naval Base to the Cuban people.

“CODEPINK will host a celebration in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC at 5pm on the day of its official reopening.”



12 thoughts on “CODEPINK Welcomes Embassies in Cuba and USA, Calls on Congress to Lift Embargo

  • The Americans did not kill off the poultry industry in Cuba – eggs form an essential form of protein in the diet of Cubans. I do not defend the terrorist act of bombing a Cuban (military owned) airliner and your endeavor to suggest that I do is bunkum. It is the wish of NATO to defend its borders and yes, NATO includes three Nuclear powers. I suppose that the naked aggression of Russia in Ukraine doesn’t encourage faith in holding to treaties. I agree with you that there is much in US international policy that is more than dubious. It reflects a marked political naivety, perhaps a consequence of ignorance of other cultures, societies and ways of life – after all only 18% of US citizens have ever held a passport and there is a fairly commonly held view that the US way of life is superior to that of others. But we tolerate it.
    So yes, we must be factual and recognise that the history of US activity in Cuba brings no credit and similarly the US history in much of Latin America. But don’t blame your folks for the appalling history of Spanish colonialism. I have previously in these columns given the history of Spain in Cuba with particular regard to slavery- with Cuba finally ending it in 1886. Racism is still very active in Cuba as it is in the US. Remember that in the 20th century Cuba had a policy of importing Spanish (Catholic) whites to ensure that their numbers exceeded those of the blacks.
    I am not mislead when I say that Fidel Castro Ruz favoured the use of Russian nuclear weapons against the US. Equally he was furious when Kruschev did the deal with the US to remove them without his involvement and the US removed its nuclear weapons from Turkey. Nor am I mislead when I refer to Castro family regime’s military activity in thirteen other countries which continued long, long after the removal of the Russian nuclear weapons from Cuba. To myself I have to be true!

  • Carlyle, you are terribly misled. Were there Russian nuclear weapons when there was the Bay of Pigs? Was there Russian weaponry when America killed off the poultry industry in Cuba? Were there Russian weapons in Cuba when the Cuban Airliner was bombed out of the sky over Barbados? Is it right for America to have nuclear weapons stationed near to the borders of Russia? We must never be one sided; we must be factual. To thine own self be true!

  • What? Cuban dissenters like the Ladies in White, who march from mass with flowers in hand are nothing like the CODEPINK radicals. Antonio Rodiles or Yoani Sánchez? In my opinion, Cuban dissenters could use a little more radicalizing. They are too polite!

  • Sounds like a description of the majority of the “dissenters” that you support in Cuba.

  • Their opposition is fine. In fact, I agree more than I disagree with them. It’s there tactics that I’m talking about. They are rude to public speakers, they deface public property and don’t offer solutions, only criticisms.

  • OK Dan, so there are two sets of loonies, the US does not hold a monopoly. Does Iraq have any loonies of its own? You always have to drag in that dead cat about how the US Government is responsible for all sins errors and omissions across the planet.
    Just occasionally sit back and think.
    Could it just be that Moses is correct in saying that in his opinion the involvement of CODEPINK makes life harder for the moderates in Congress?

  • So where do you live to escape the evils of the US – Cuba?
    On a statistical point, you mention “the attempt to kill Castro by the CIA.”. Should there not be a multiple?
    I had thought that the various attempts by the CIA to kill Castro were a consequence of him inviting the USSR to install nuclear weapons in Cuba and encouraging their use. Somehow the US Government concluded that he would be better dead and remove the threat of this type of action against the citizens that elected it.

  • Loonies, as in opposing the invasion of Iraq ?

  • code pink says nothing about revolutionary socialism or the crimes of the capitlist American nation against the Cuban people since President Eisenhower. Not to mention the attempt to kill Fidel Castro by the CIA.

  • The embargo and travel ban? They need, and should, be lifted ASAP. As for Guantanamo? Talk about getting an inch and then requesting a mile. Baby steps, people. There’s a lot of opposition among Republicans in Congress to lifting the embargo while getting nothing in return. Cuba is just handing them ammunition by requesting the base be returned when embassies have not even been opened yet.

  • I first got to Know Cuba in Sept 1993 w/ Benjamin’s Global Exchange. I had to get a letter from a magazine stating that I was a news gatherer to do so. We met w/ Ricardo Alarcon. It was the height of Special Period, w/ blackouts all over, few buses, few places to eat even if you could pay w/ fula. It was an incredible experience. Very different from the Cuba of today. Like the sign on La Rampa says, Cuba nunca fue doblegado.

  • Bad optics if ever there was. The image of CODEPINK celebrating the opening of the Cuban embassy makes it harder for moderates in Congress to subsequently support the lifting of the embargo. The CODEPINK folks are loonies. It’s hard to agree with anything they support and later be taken seriously.

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