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 Biden has not dismantled or withdrawn any of these.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. (#)
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.
on the calls for global solidarity in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic, not sanctions and war
International Solidarity, Not Sanctions and War
In the face of the COVID-19 global health pandemic, PhilCuba joins the international community in calling for the end to the blockades imposed by the US government on Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and other sovereign countries.
This pandemic has been wreaking havoc among millions of people all over the world, and has resulted in a staggering number of deaths—counting hundreds of thousands, and also economic disruptions due to necessary lock-downs and quarantines.
We call on the US government, on humanitarian grounds, to lift its unilateral blockades against Cuba, Venezuela and Iran—countries which we know are suffering the most from the direst of sanctions applied by the US government. Access to everything necessary -- food essentials, medical supplies and funding -- that the blockaded countries need to defeat COVID-19 should not be denied at this critical time.
It is immoral and unconscionable, in fact criminal, on the part of the US government to continue imposing these blockades. The COVID-19 pandemic is a death sentence made more unimaginably cruel to the populations of these blockaded states and that of other sanctioned countries. In effect, these countries are denied full access to humanitarian medical support and access to resources to fight the disease and rebuild their already battered economies.
However, notwithstanding the blockade, Cuba continues to send, in the spirit of internationalism, Cuban medical teams to assist distressed countries in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic calls for global cooperation and solidarity to share the most effective methods of treatment of the disease and to develop a vaccine that shall vanquish COVID-19 once and for all.
Therefore, we appeal to the international community, through the United Nations, to act accordingly and put an end to the continued perpetration of the genocidal blockades by the U.S. government against the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and other sanctioned nations.
End the blockades imposed by the U.S. and its allies against Cuba, Venezuela, Iran!
Lift all sanctions against countries in this time of humanitarian crisis! (#)
Strengthen Solidarity in Opposition to US’s Escalating Aggression Against Cuba
The increasing and worsening sanctions enforced by the US against Cuba as announced by its State Secretary Michael Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton on April 17 this year are irrational acts of aggression that should be stopped.
We, members of the Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) have known about the dire consequences of Cuba’s 60 years under US “embargo.” We are deeply upset with Washington’s decision to activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and to re-tighten restrictions. Furthermore, we find President Donald Trump’s threat of “full and complete embargo” and “highest-level sanctions” tweeted on April 30 absolutely unwarranted.
We are upset because, while Washington’s pronounced objective is to overthrow a supposedly tyrannical regime and establish one that is democratic and working by the rule of law, the sanctions that the highest officials of the US are escalating would be asphyxiating the Cuban economy and will cause economic hardships among the people.
Title III of the Helms-Burton Act aimed to block US and other foreign investment in Cuba. The US Congress passed it in 1996, as part of a broad sanctions package against Cuba, but the succeeding administrations suspended its implementation because of strong opposition from the US’s allies. With the activation of Title III starting May 2 this year Cuban Americans can now sue any company that benefited from their private property confiscated by Cuba’s revolutionary government.
While it will benefit members of the exiled upper class that owned nearly all the land and business in Cuba before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, enforcing Title III undoubtedly aims to scare companies from doing business with Cuba to isolate the country and cause the collapse of its economy.
Bolton is ridiculous in his announcement of additional restrictions: in setting a cap of $1,000 per three months on remittance of Cuban Americans to their relatives in Cuba, in limiting travel to Cuba other than family visits and in suspending authorization that allowed Cuban companies and banks to do “U-turn” transactions in third countries that passed indirectly through the US banking system. These are reversals of Obama-era reforms, which according to Bolton, “enable Cuba’s colonization of Venezuela.”
Such a charge is definitely absurd but Bolton and other proponents of aggression against Cuba have to devise in defense of the US’s aggressive policy against countries they maliciously labeled as “troika of tyranny.” In the same vein, President Trump himself tweeted that grave threat against Cuba along with sinister catch, “if its troops were not withdrawn from Venezuela.”
PhilCuba slams Washington for these irrational acts of aggression against Cuba. It commits to expose the truth about the US’s drive against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Oppose US schemes that make life more difficult for the Cuban people!
Strengthen solidarity with the Cuban people!
Reject the wanton use of sanctions as a weapon against an entire people!
Dismantle the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba!