End the U.S. Blockade of Cuba!

60 years of the Criminal Blockade Against Cuba

– Ottawa Cuba Connections –

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the United States' criminal blockade against Cuba. Last February 3, President Díaz-Canel reaffirmed his demand for the lifting of the blockade against Cuba. He stated: "The Revolutionary Government, on behalf of the Cuban people, emphatically demands the end of the blockade imposed by the United States. Our denunciation will remain firm and invariable until this inhumane and illegal policy ceases."

Executive Order 3447, signed by then U.S. President John F. Kennedy on February 3, 1962, formalized the U.S. actions against the emerging Cuban Revolution, which after its triumph three years earlier, had to deal with undercover operations and the mercenary invasion of Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs) in 1961, an invasion which was soundly defeated by the Cuban people under the direct leadership of Fidel on the battlefield. This policy has been intensified and strengthened during these six decades with measures such as the Torricelli (1992) and Helms-Burton (1996) Acts. In the last five years, the U.S. has strengthened the blockade against Cuba by adopting more than 240 unilateral coercive measures, 55 of which were approved during the pandemic. The current U.S. administration maintains and expands the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba while promoting campaigns of international discredit and internal destabilization, such as those seen last summer.

Far from acting from a position of strength, the U.S. is completely isolated in its criminal efforts against Cuba, as for 29 consecutive years, the international community within the United Nations' General Assembly has voted almost unanimously to lift the blockade. In spite of the fact that the declared intention of Executive Order 3447 was to provoke hunger and discouragement within the Cuban population and to overthrow its government, to this day the U.S. who, along with Israel, votes against the UN resolution, still resorts to its worn-out phrases about "respect for human rights." It is becoming increasingly clear for everyone that, if anything, the blockade undermines the Cuban people's well-being and their human rights. Even as the Cubans developed their own vaccines to fight the pandemic, the blockade made it extremely difficult to have access to certain medical components for their production. In the spirit of working tirelessly to ensure the well-being of the people, and with dynamic health, research and scientific institutions -- yet another legacy of Fidel -- the Cuban people overcame this obstacle.

Cuba also has the support of the world's people and friendly and commercial relations with nations around the world. One of the aspects of the blockade is precisely that the U.S. interferes in the sovereign affairs of other countries, such as Canada, dictating to them with whom they should or should not do business, threatening them with financial sanctions.

For the past sixty years, every step of the way, the Cuban people and their Revolutionary government have fought to overcome the various problems facing them, in spite of the blockade. It is hard to imagine the extent of what the Cuban people will accomplish in all fields once the weight of the U.S. blockade is lifted once and for all.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 3 - March 6, 2022

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