The success of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 struck fear into the cold heart of U.S. imperialism, which responded by immediately planning ways to undermine the Revolution and return Cuba to its former status. Of all the tactics employed by the U.S. against Cuba, the blockade of the socialist island is the harshest and most inhumane.
The U.S.’s unilateral blockade of Cuba began in October 1960 and was greatly expanded in 1962. It has been strengthened by additional executive actions and legislation, including the Helms–Burton Act of 1996, which codified the blockade into law.
Washington’s intention has been to increase the hardships of the Cuban people, as the blockade affects everything from basic goods essential for everyday life to the provisioning of health care and education for the people.
The Cuban people have heroically resisted the blockade, an act of belligerence which is estimated to have cost the Cuban economy in excess of $117 billion, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, as reported by Telesur TV on Aug. 5.
Every year since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution condemning the blockade and declaring it to be in violation of the U.N. Charter and international law. In September 2014, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno told the United Nations, “There is not, and there has not been in the world, such a terrorizing and vile violation of human rights of an entire people than the blockade that the U.S. government has been leading against Cuba for 55 years.” (RT Business, Sept. 10, 2014)
Days of Action = Solidarity
A series of activities, entitled “Days of Action against the Blockade,” will take place from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18 in Washington, D.C. These events will not only demand the lifting of the blockade, but will also call for the U.S. to respect Cuba’s self-determination and sovereignty and end its goal of regime change.
The three days of activities will include visits with Congress members, an “Ecumenical Service and Evening of Culture,” the opening of the photographic exhibit entitled, “The Cuban 5 Return: An Entire Country Celebrates,” and a one-day conference.
The all-day conference will be on “The U.S. Blockade against Cuba: Why It’s Wrong and What We Need to Do to End It.” It will feature workshops and speakers, including Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rican independence fighter and former political prisoner; Jan Susler, attorney for Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera; authors; filmmakers; and others.
The event is being organized by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity for the Peoples; IFCO/Pastors for Peace; the Venceremos Brigade; the National Network on Cuba; and the Institute for Policy Studies. It has been endorsed by more than 50 U.S. and international organizations.
Get on the Bus!
Pastors for Peace is organizing a bus to travel from New York City to Washington, D.C., for those who want to participate in the one-day conference on Sept.18. The bus will depart from NYC on Thursday, Sept. 17, and return to NYC on Saturday, Sept. 19. Bus tickets are $20. To reserve a seat, contact IFCO/Pastors for Peace at [email protected].
Detailed information on the “Days of Action Against the Blockade” is available at theinternationalcommittee.org and ifconews.org, at facebook.com/DaysofAction4Cuba, on Instagram @CeseElBloqueo, and on Twitter @thecuban5 and at #DaysOfAction4Cuba. Event organizers can be contacted by emailing [email protected] and [email protected].