June 7th, 2021
A couple of months ago, Cuba Solidarity Forum Ireland became aware that a small clandestine group of extremely right-wing MEPs held a series of zoom meetings in the European Parliament, while it was not in session, feigning that it was official business and invited other MEPS who were at this stage, during the Europe-wide pandemic restrictions, in their respective countries.
The group intend to highlight false information about Cuba, on the back of the “San Isidro Movement” which was initiated by a group of young people who freely boasted that they were paid mercenaries from Florida. Most of them had never lived in Cuba and the debacle failed miserably, but not without claiming that the Cuban police had attacked and tortured them, which was a blatant lie, despite the fact that they defecated on the Cuban flag, endangered the health of the Cuban people by refusing to quarantine on entry to Cuba and generally attempted to create an insurgency against the Cuban authorities, within the small suburb of San Isidro. Ironically, they were acting in complete indifference to the flagrant brutality of the current police forces in the United States, and in several Latin American countries, and other European countries also.
Last Friday evening 4th June, at a European zoom meeting called by ICAP (Cuban Institute for Friendship with People) and headed by Cuban Five hero Fernando Gonzalez Llort, we were told by the President of Cuban Foreign Affairs Committee, Yolanda Ferrer, that they had learned with disgust that a small group of right-wing MEPs have placed an item on the agenda of the next plenary session of the European Parliament (Tuesday June 8th) regarding the “Political Situation and Human Rights in Cuba” in an attempt to sever the bonds which unite Cuba with the European Union and to block the implementation of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement currently being negotiated on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
It is coincidentally destructive, that the action being promoted by these MEPs in the 62 years of the illegal and genocidal blockade by the U.S. on the Cuban people, has never been mentioned by them or their predecessors in the European Parliament, and is clearly an attempt to garner opposition to the vote in the United Nations due to take place on June 23rd, where of the 189 countries who participate, the only constant visible opposition to Cuba has been United States and Israel.
We, the members of Cuba Solidarity Forum Ireland (CSFI) wholeheartedly condemn this irrational and unfounded behaviour by this group of MEPs, and have asked all Irish MEPs to distance themselves from this draft resolution, by opposing the motion.
We are confident that Irish people who have provided great support and solidarity to Cuba over the decades will support us now in this condemnation both of the proposed action by the right-wing MEPS in the European Parliament, and the economic and commercial blockade of Cuba, which since Trump upped the ante by imposing harsher terms of the blockade, and which President Biden has done absolutely nothing to attempt to alleviate, has resulted in crippling the lives of the entire Cuban people.
A nation who respects human life so much as to send medical groups to the four corners of the earth voluntarily, to aid countries in the fight against natural disasters, pandemics such as Ebola and the current variants of Covid, and to the favelas of the poor in South and Central America, deserve to be respected by having this blockade lifted once and for all.
Eleanor Lanigan Phil Kelly Marie Barry