miércoles 29 de mayo de 2024
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Open Letter to CARICOM Heads of Government: ¡We Must Support Cuba!

Cuba apoyo Voces del Sur Global

Honourable Heads of Government:

On Thursday March 21, the Regional Executive Committee (REC) of the Assembly of Caribbean People (ACP) met virtually for several hours. The meeting was well attended with members from Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Martinique, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The REC discussed a number of issues, including:

-The crisis in Haiti. We have already communicated our position on Haiti to you in several Open Letters and through the Declaration that we issued on March 9th and which we shared with you. The REC received from the Haitian Chapter of the ACP a further update and analysis of the crisis in Haiti.

-The situation in Cuba. The members of the Cuban Chapter of the Assembly provided a report on the very challenging problems that the Government of Cuba and its citizens are facing, especially with respect to the fuel shortages that are resulting in significant electricity blackouts; and also shortages of some food items inclusive of milk for children.

This situation is the direct result of the cumulative impacts of the decades-old blockade by the United States and the false designation by the US of Cuba as being involved in “state sponsoring of terrorism”.

This latter designation is particularly cynical since the rationale for it is Cuba’s role as a facilitator and mediator in the peace talks between the Colombian Government and those who were engaged in armed conflict with the state. Far from sponsoring terrorism, Cuba has been a peacemaker!

These unilateral, illegal and illegitimate actions by the United States against the sovereign state of Cuba has made it exceptionally difficult and expensive for Cuba to engage in trade and other economic activity.

The President of Cuba, Excellency Miguel Diaz Canel, in a recent interview described how the US actions have impacted on Cuba. He stated that the intensification of the blockade and Cuba being listed as a country that engages in state sponsoring of terrorism has caused:

• some shipping lines to stop coming to Cuba, thus limiting supply options of fuel;

• some companies that can supply fuel to stop trading with Cuba; and

• greater difficulty in Cuba accessing currencies with which to pay for fuel; thus, leading to the fuel shortages and the electricity blackouts. The same applies to the problems of food shortages.

In this context, there were a number of protests by some Cubans, however, the situation has returned to normalcy following the interactions and dialogue between the Cuban leadership and citizens.

President Diaz Canel has described the US as engaged in a maximum pressure strategy that has two fundamental components: “economic asphyxiation” and “media intoxication”, the latter being the use of especially social media to provide false or misleading information.

This strategy is consistent with the 200 year old Monroe Doctrine, which the United States has used as a pretext for interventions throughout this hemisphere in order to impose its economic and political agenda on sovereign nations.

The achievement of the US agenda has been through the soft approach of diplomatic pressures; the use of “aid” as a carrot, with the threat of the stick not far behind; implementing economic measures (including sanctions and the blockade) to undermine the legitimacy of governments; and regime change by fomenting political unrest; coup d’etats and the assassination of leaders, including those who were democratically elected.

In the specific case of Cuba, we cite the Official Memorandum of then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs of the United States Department of State, Lester Mallory, who wrote the following on April 6, 1960:

“The majority of Cubans support Castro… The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship… every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba… a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

This is the exact playbook that is being pursued 64 years later by the Biden Administration! This is especially disturbing since Biden was the Vice President when the US, under President Obama, began to roll back those elements of the blockade that could be effected by Executive Order.

The blockade was then intensified by then President Trump, who reversed the Obama decisions and made them more draconian. One would have thought that Biden would have overturned the Trump actions and returned to the Obama Administration status quo, of which he was a leading member. Biden clearly is pursuing the most backward of agendas.

The blockade has not succeeded in the past, as Obama himself stated, and is doomed to fail now, to achieve regime change in Cuba.

However, the Government of the United States is still maintaining the blockade knowing full well that it is engaged in a massive attack, not just against another sovereign state, but on the Cuban people, especially the elderly, women, children and youth. This is a crime against humanity!

Honourable Heads, on the issue of Cuba, CARICOM has an enviable record. As we are all aware, in 1972 the then four newly independent nations of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations with Cuba, thus being in the forefront of breaking the isolation of Cuba.

Since that time CARICOM’s relationship with Cuba has been developed exponentially. There is a CARICOM-Cuba trade agreement; virtually every CARICOM state has an Embassy in Cuba and vice-versa; there are very many multilateral and bilateral agreements in diverse areas such as education, health, sport, agriculture; aviation, science and technology.

There are biennial CARICOM-Cuba Summits; Cuba is a member of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and CARICOM states are members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

There is a joint CARICOM and Cuba position against terrorism with October 6th (the anniversary of the October 6th, 1976 terrorist bombing by CIA operatives of Cubana Flight 455 that resulted in all 73 persons aboard being killed) being designated as CARICOM-Cuba day against terrorism.

And, of course, CARICOM as a collective and CARICOM states individually have consistently denounced the US blockade of Cuba in its various declarations, communiques and at the United Nations General Assembly -both in statements and by our voting in support of Cuba’s Resolution tabled annually calling for the ending of the economic, financial and commercial blockade by the US.

Honourable Heads, there is absolutely no doubting that the Government and people of Cuba have gone way beyond the requirements of friendship that come with establishing diplomatic relations.

They have:

• Provided thousands of scholarships to nationals of CARICOM, our youth, to pursue tertiary education in Cuba, which opportunities these young people would not otherwise have had. As a result, we have doctors, dentists, veterinarians, economists, architects, museum curators, film makers, sport coaches and many other professionals who have contributed and are continuing to contribute to our various nations;

• Provided technical expertise to many CARICOM states in areas ranging from the reconstruction of heritage buildings to training Olympic medallists and other sports men and women; to strengthening our food capacity; to disaster preparation;

• Offered health care professionals to fill gaps in our own human resources and, in moments of crisis such as the Covid pandemic, assisted us immeasurably in providing professionals that were critically needed; and, in Haiti, provided health care professionals who were essential in the aftermath of the earthquake and various hurricanes and other crises;

• Offered free eye surgery for thousands of our elderly citizens who suffered from cataract and other ailments, in partnership with the Government of the Bolivarian Republicof Venezuela -the programme known as Operacion Milagro.

• Engaged in very many educational and cultural programmes, including the publication of books by some of our leading writers and thinkers, such as George Lamming; and honoured our scholars such as Professor Norman Girvan with a Chair at the University of Havana.

This list is not an exhaustive documentation of Cuba’s solidarity with CARICOM states and our people, but suffices to demonstrate that the Government and people of Cuba have given us so much, in spite of their being deprived of so much as a result of the US blockade and other actions by that imperialist state, oft time supported by their allies.

Honourable Heads, the Regional Executive Committee at our meeting on March 21st agreed to the following in solidarity with our Caribbean Sisters and Brothers in Cuba:

1. To restate our own demand, one which is echoed by millions of people the world over and by every state except the US and Israel, for the immediate end to the illegal, illegitimate economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba by the United States. We also demand that the US remove Cuba from the so-called list of countries engaged in the state sponsoring of terrorism. We state without fear of contradiction that President Biden will go down in history as an imperialist war monger who has to account for crimes against humanity -the genocide of the Palestinian people and the denial of the Cuban people of the right to life and dignity

2. To call on all CARICOM member states to reciprocate solidarity with Cuba at this crucial moment of their difficulty by providing concrete material assistance -food and fuel- to the Government and people of Cuba. We urge you to act with urgency on this. Solidarity must be mutual. Cuba has never hesitated to assist us in our time of need even when this meant a sacrifice by their people. We should not hesitate to assist them now in their time of need even if this may be a sacrifice for our citizens. It is to this that we address our Open Letter to you and look forward to your early and positive response.

Yours Truly,

The Assembly of Caribbean People

For and on behalf of the Regional Executive Committee David Abdulah, Trinidad & Tobago; David Denny, Barbados; Camille Chalmers, Haiti; Claudette Etnel, Suriname; Robert Sae, Martinique; Pedro Franco, Dominican Republic; Hilda Guerrero, Puerto Rico; and the Cuban chapter of ACP, Cuba.

Identificador Sitio web Ecos del Sur
Asamblea de los Pueblos del Caribe

Asamblea de los Pueblos del Caribe

Espacio de lucha antiimperialista, de diálogo, intercambio y construcción colectiva de iniciativas y acciones para el desarrollo y la convergencia de las luchas caribeñas en defensa de la vida, la soberanía e independencia nacional, la paz, el desarrollo sostenible y sustentable, la justicia social, la equidad, la igualdad y la identidad cultural de nuestros pueblos.
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