The Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS), a volunteer organization of South Africans which seeks to promote solidarity with the peoples and sovereign government of Cuba, condemns the ongoing, cruel, illegal and immoral economic blockade by the USA against Cuba.
In addition to the over 60 years economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, former USA President Donald Trump introduced tougher measures against Cuba at the beginning of 2017. The measures were aimed at suffocating the development of Cuba and reducing its hard currency which is important to meet the needs for food, healthcare, educational services as well as other essentials of Cuba. These draconian measures continue, under the current Biden administration, to be aimed at undermining the National sovereignty of Cuba, creating scarcity to create social and political unrest as part of the historic mission of the USA government to undemocratically topple the Cuban government.
That is why we fully agree with what the Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriquez said at a media briefing on the 19th October 2022 in Havana when launching the annual campaign for the United Nations resolution condemning the trade embargo against Cuba. Minister Rodriquez said the decades old USA trade embargo has been causing record financial losses and untold human suffering in recent months, at a time when Cuba was also battling the effects of the COVID19 pandemic and Hurricane Ian. Whilst being grateful for the announcement made by President Biden administration on Tuesday, 18 October 2022 that they will provide two million dollars to Cuba for emergency relief efforts following the Hurricane Ian, the Minister also said:
“Despite the positive announcement, the blockade has not changed in its scope or depth. The embargo is a permanent pandemic, a constant hurricane. The policy of President Biden’s government towards Cuba is the same Republican policy, no changes have been introduced in that policy”
Although in recent years the USA government has eased some policies around remittances, flights, tourism, migration and made a commitment to reopen consular services and Havana in 2023, through a myriad of laws and regulations the economic blockade remains intact. It has caused Cuba $154 billion (dollars) since its illegal imposition.
Guided by principles of progressive internationalism, Cuba and its people has always been on the side of oppressed and struggling people around the world. As South Africans who emerged from the struggle against colonialism and apartheid, we understand the importance of international solidarity. Cubans sacrificed and even shed their blood in our Region of Southern African to defend the territorial integrity and independence of Angola. These sacrifices led to the negotiated settlement of Namibia and South Africa.
It is for these reasons that we reiterate our call for the illegal and immoral economic blockade against the people of Cuba to be unconditionally lifted and for the USA to withdraw from Cuban territory at Guantanamo Bay.
Friends of Cuba Society SA
1st November 2022