Around 100 people gathered outside Philadelphia City Hall July 26 to raise up international solidarity with the people of Cuba and demand: U.S. hands off Cuba! End the Blockade! Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture with Black Alliance for Peace and Ted Kelly with Workers World Party chaired the rally. Speakers represented many of the international struggles Cuba has provided support to.
Fermin Morales from the grassroots organization Philly Boricuas described the historic solidarity between his native Puerto Rico and Cuba in opposing U.S. occupation. “What does the U.S. have to offer people from Cuba — homelessness, police brutality, racism, drug addiction?” he noted. Mexican immigrant activist Carmen Guerrero with the Coalición Fortaleza Latina PA delivered her remarks in Spanish to broad applause from rally participants.
Deandra Jefferson with Black Alliance for Peace stated: “Cuba has shown the world that socialism is viable. Just compare conditions in Cuba to those in Haiti where the U.S. has intervened and occupied for years.”
Hyun Lee with Korea Peace Now! PA stated: “After a three-year war, the U.S. and Korea settled for a cease fire 68 years ago, but that war still goes on today. The DPRK and Cuba are both under some of the heaviest sanctions in the world. We need to end this.” Godfrey Sithole, area representative of the African National Congress, praised Cuba for its internationalism, especially in support of liberation struggles in African countries.
Clancy Murray from Workers World spoke on Cuba’s community based health care system, noting: “A better world is possible, and Cuba’s medical system is testament to this.” Sara Flounders with the International Action Center discussed the purpose and impact of U.S. sanctions. She asked: “Why does U.S. imperialism, with all its economic power and its global military bases, see Cuba as a ‘national security threat’? The capitalist class knows that revolutionary ideas are contagious — more so than COVID-19. They can spread around the globe.
“The U.S. relies on suppression, often through sanctions, an act of war. U.S. sanctions used against 39 countries involve cutting off food and medicines, resulting in hunger and sicknesses that would otherwise be solvable. The U.S. applied sanctions to Haiti for over 60 years, crippling their economy. But Haiti stood alone. Cuba has international solidarity. Cuba Sí, Bloqueo No! End the sanctions now!”
The rally was organized by Philadelphia chapters of the Black Alliance for Peace, Workers World Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.