We extend our solidarity to the Cuban people in this time of tragic loss and sadness after the huge fire that hit the Matanzas oil storage facility weeks ago. We also condole with the grief- stricken families of the 14 firefighters who perished in the line of duty.
On August 19, Cuba gave funeral honors and paid their last tribute to their fallen sons in front of thousands at the Firefighters Museum in said city’s main square. We join this attestation to the heroes’ bravery and ultimate sacrifice in protecting their community. We believe that the Cuban people will continue to remember them gratefully. We honor them and wish for Cuba’s quick recovery.
We express appreciation for the governments of Mexico and Venezuela that sent a combined 127-strong contingent of specialists who worked to contain the fire alongside the Cuban authorities and emergency corps; along with 45,000 liters of retardant foam, breathable air tanks, medical equipment and supplies. We also appreciate the government of Iran for dispatching its own experts; to Venezuela for pledging to help Cuba rebuild the lost depot; to Russia, Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, the European Union and the United Nations for sending solidarity assistance.
The US government has also pledged to provide technical assistance, which Cuba welcomed. However, we call out the US for its lukewarm response to the incident in Matanzas. We highlight the fact that the most critical issue that demands resolution is to end the total blockade that they imposed on the Cuban people for 60 years now. This illegal, immoral, criminal blockade has made the lives of four generations of Cubans extremely difficult, has barred Cubans from accessing important medicines and medical instruments and had slowed Cuba’s development since 1962. It has been condemned by UN member-states nearly 30 times since the very first time Cuba filed its resolution demanding its lifting.
We call on the people of the United States and on other peoples and their governments in the international community to support Cuba by not allowing this blockade to continue further and to render it ineffectual through concerted counter-actions.
We honor every Cuban standing up against the continued interventionist, regime-change designs of the United States and their known allies. Let “Patria o Muerte, Venceremos!” continue to reverberate and to remain the battle cry and spirit in defense of the Cuban Revolution! (#)
No to US-Instigated Protests
Enough of Foreign Interference in Cuba's Internal Affairs
Cuba’s socialist government has the right and duty to defend the gains of the revolution and protect Cuban property, people and institutions against a renewed threat directed from its imperialist neighbor to create a scenario of “massive discontent” in order to create chaos and overthrow the Cuban revolutionary government.
The Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) stands by the Cuban people in their determined opposition to US’s interventionist policy, which violates the Cuban people’s sovereignty and right to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
US leaders, both in the executive and legislative branches, did not deny that their government directed and financed the marches cum riots on July 11 this year. They displayed their arrogance further by threatening to inflict greater harm on the country if their operators in Cuba who got arrested are not released. Since months ago, these operators who are pretending to be cultural and human rights activists have been drumming up another mobilization come November 15.
It is reprehensible that instead of attending to its own problems—the result of decades-long neo-liberal policies, ever-mounting support for the military industrial complex, and cutting appropriations for social protection exacerbated by the pandemic—the US is giving more attention to “regime change” interventions in countries it considers as enemies.
It is deplorable that instead of initiating and bankrolling projects to help strengthen peoples’ capacities to respond to calamities and epidemics, the US is focusing on strangulating the Cuban, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan people through endless economic sanctions.
It is hypocritical for the US that claims to banner democracy and world peace yet continues to strengthen its armed forces for hegemonic wars and intervention around the world.
We are confident that the people of Cuba who have long endured various evil acts of the US—from economic, commercial and financial blockade to actual violent actions like the Bay of Pigs invasion, large-scale burning of sugarcane fields, destruction of industrial machinery, hatching plane crashes, the arrest and imprisonment of Cuban patriots—will prevent traitors like Yunior Garcia Aguillera and Manuel Cuesta Morúa from deceiving more people.
More power to the Cuban Revolution!
Enough with imperialist intervention!
Just Remove the Blockade
It is hypocritical of US President Biden to ask the Cuban Government to listen to the protesters, a few weeks after the US and Israel rejected the UN General Assembly Resolution (a vote of 184 countries out of 189) for the US to end the illegal economic blockade on Cuba.
The Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association or PhilCuba believes that the statements of the Biden government, Senator Marco Rubio, and the former State Secretary Pompeo, calling for support for the Cuban people are like “crocodile tears.”
They know that the Trump administration perfected its implementation of US’s policy against Cuba through 243 coercive measures. Biden has not dismantled or withdrawn any of these. This government that banners democracy and rule of law in the world is implementing a 60-year-old cruel and criminal blockade that strangulates Cuba.
The blockade is the main cause of the food and power shortages. The Cubans are banned from selling their products and services to the US and to countries it could bully around. Cuba cannot even buy the medicines they need from nearby countries. Their athletes cannot even claim the prizes they have supposedly won abroad. Those who defy Washington’s orders on the blockade are severely punished.
If the revolutionary Cuban people and the government were not steadfast, Cuba and its people would have given up years ago. They did not and their hard work has paid off. Cuba’s achievements have caused great embarrassment to the US: Cubans enjoy full health-care coverage; Cuba has helped many countries in different regions of the world in fighting Covid-19; although it is the smallest and poorest, it stands among the six countries, that have developed vaccines against Covid-19; it has trained thousands of doctors and others from different countries in the field of sciences; it has advanced in the field of bio-technology and public health; it has improved, though modestly, people’s housing and transportation system; it continues to pursue socialism despite the blockade, Fidel’s death in 2016, and Raul’s retirement.
It is really embarrassing for the US that top Cuban officials are not involved in stashing away funds to the Bahamas or the Virgin Islands because every centavo is spent for the people’s well-being. It is embarrassing because the US does not want Cuba to develop while not under its wing or direction.
The US government has to pay Cuban agents to provoke regime change. Since January this year, the Cuban government has decried the funneling of money from the US State Department through some agencies to Cuban hands. President Diaz-Canel has warned against US’s manipulation of “cultural activism” to sow intrigue and magnify the shortcomings of the government and of the Communist Party in providing for the material needs of the people.
But they brought the issue to the level of absurdity by blaming the government and the Party for the lack of syringes that cause delays in vaccinations, when obviously, insufficient medical supplies could be traced to the US blockade!
Orchestration of the riots cannot be denied. The US media is obsessed with attacking the government led by Diaz-Canel, while ignoring the illegal blockade and the UN Resolution asking for its end.
End hypocrisy! Just remove the blockade! Cuba can fend for itself and develop without any help from American imperialism.
With support and solidarity from all over the world, long live the Cuban people! More power to Cuba’s elected government! (#)
End the US Blockade against Cuba Now!
The US has imposed commercial, financial and economic blockade against Cuba for 60 years now. Under conditions of a global crisis and a raging pandemic, the blockade that has intensified since the Trump administration until today, has placed the Cuban people in a particularly dire situation affecting their access to essential products, services, and medicines, their well-being, their integrity as human beings.
The Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) firmly believes that this illegal and unjust persecution of Cuba by the United States should stop now.
The 243 measures taken by the Trump government against Cuba aimed to cut off all sources of incomes for the country and lay an economic siege on the revolutionary government. These are new and extreme actions in line with his campaign of “maximum pressure,” harassment and economic piracy, the combined impact of which makes it severely difficult for Cuba to access legitimate income, to carry out financial operations necessary for trade, investment and essential production processes.
The sanctions against owners, operators and charterers of 59 vessels that transported fuel to Cuba clearly demonstrate that the objective was to disable Cuba’s operation as a country; to deprive the population of essential services such as gas, transportation and electricity; and, as former Secretary Mike Pompeo told European diplomats, to “starve” the island to bring down the regime. Clearly, Washington has not deviated from its policy since January 1960 when President Eisenhower argued for blockading Cuba with the statement: "If they (the Cuban people) are hungry, they will throw Castro out."
That’s why, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit populations and weaken economies, and Cuba continues to respond to calls for assistance in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and even in Europe, the US continues to tighten its grip on the blockade against Cuba. The blockade reflects in utter shortage of essential products for people’s consumption, in the difficulty for Cuba to acquire the necessary materials for food preservation, and production of medicines. Cuba was not able to access 32 equipment and supplies necessary for Covid-19 vaccine production like those needed for the purification of vaccine candidates, production equipment accessories, tanks and filtration capsules, potassium chloride solution, thimerosal, bags and reagents.
Washington has taken advantage of the pandemic to double down on its coercive measures against Cuba. It fraudulently added Cuba to the List of States Sponsoring Terrorism. Announced in January 2021, this unilateral action is lacking in moral and legal justification. Afraid of the long reach of the financial surveillance system of Washington, many banks in the world shut their operations with Cuba and Cuban Citizens, thus worsening the country’s difficulty in participating in international trade, in carrying out financial operations and in acquiring basic supplies. This impacts every sphere of Cuban society.
These cruel coercive actions against Cuba that started during Eisenhower’s time have worsened through the years, have been perfected by the Trump administration and are allowed in place by the present Biden government.
The United Nations, guided by the principles of sovereign equality of States, non -intervention and non-interference in their internal affairs and freedom of international trade and navigation, should vote against the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba; and countries should press the Biden administration to end it now.
PhilCuba commends the Philippine government for consistently voting against the blockade. (#)
statement supporting the call to award the nobel peace prize to the henry reeve international medical brigade IN 2021
Aware of the excellent record of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade (or Henry Reeve Brigade for brevity) in cooperating with governments and peoples of different countries to overcome their health crisis in disaster situations and epidemic outbreaks; and of its outstanding work in confronting Covid-19 in different regions of the globe, the Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) has joined the big number of organizations and individuals worldwide in support of a nomination for this medical brigade to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.
Since it was formed in September 2005, the Henry Reeve Brigade has many times shown its readiness and commitment to render medical/health services to peoples in dire need, and through this, has been promoting international understanding, solidarity and peace.
Brigadistas, around 2,250 of them, immediately went to Pakistan after Kashmir suffered a catastrophic earthquake in 2005. The Henry Reeve Brigade sent medical teams to our neighbor Indonesia after a strong Tsunami wreaked havoc and killed thousands. It sent more than 1,700 health professionals to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 and following this, to battle cholera. It sent more than 400 doctors and nurses to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak that took the lives of more than 4,000 people. The Brigade collaborated with the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and of many more countries in Latin America and the Caribbean at various times.
Remarkable, too, is the sending of contingents of doctors and nurses of the Henry Reeve Brigade to more than three dozen countries and non-independent territories in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean to attend to people infected by the Covid-19.
While it is true that Cuba, with its big number of health professionals, is in a position to send almost 3,000 brigadistas to serve abroad, it is the orientation of Cuba’s health workers, ingrained in the years of their training that made them ready to leave to be of service where most needed. Yes, the Henry Reeve Brigade raises the banner of Cuba, but as it does so, it underlines its revolutionary and humanist view that healthcare should be universally accessible, sustainable and free for all its citizens.
Truly, the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade comprising of “battalions in white robes” is promoting health and health justice, saving lives, bridging peoples and nations, ultimately, to bring world peace.