End the Blockade of Cuba!

April 16, 2009

Amidst widespread condemnation of the U.S. blockade of Cuba by governments throughout Latin America ahead of the Summit of the Americas (a meeting of all the countries in the hemisphere, excluding Cuba) Obama administration officials have repeatedly emphasized that the U.S. will “maintain the embargo as an inducement for democratic change on the island.”

For 50 years, the U.S. government has been carrying out an all-sided campaign of subversion and aggression aimed at overthrowing the Cuban government and restoring U.S. domination of the country.

Since the Cuban revolution of 1959, the U.S. government has continually organized terror against the Cuban people, including numerous acts of sabotage and assassination plots against Cuban diplomats. The U.S. has threatened Cuba with nuclear weapons, trained counter-revolutionary armies and political shock forces in the U.S. and kept up a nonstop campaign of ideological, political and diplomatic pressure. It is well documented that for years anti-Cuban groups, organized by the CIA and operating from the U.S., have carried out terrorist operations and sabotage inside Cuba. Today, it is well-known that Republican and Democratic politicians in the U.S. have continually supported anti-Cuban terrorist groups operating from Florida.

The U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, first enacted in 1962, imposes a total ban on all food, medicine, equipment and raw materials from the U.S. and prohibits free travel between the two countries. In 1992, Congress passed the Torricelli Bill which, in blatant violation of the sovereignty of other states, imposed sanctions against all countries that trade with Cuba. The Helms-Burton legislation, signed into law in 1996, extends such third party sanctions by denying entry visas to the U.S. for foreign individuals linked to any corporations doing business in Cuba. It also seeks to cut off all international loans to Cuba.

In the face of U.S. military invasion, covert subversion, intense ideological and political pressure and a strangulating economic embargo, the people of Cuba have refused to bend their knee. They have continued along the path of their revolution, defending their national sovereignty and independence and determining for themselves their economic and political system.

Cuba's struggle has won the support of peoples and governments throughout the world. Nearly every government in the world has repeatedly condemned the U.S. economic embargo and blockade; every year the United Nations demands an end to the embargo. The people of Latin America especially find inspiration in Cuba's struggle to live free of the yoke of Yankee imperialism. So too, people from all walks of life in the U.S. have come out, again and again, in manifold ways to defend Cuba's right to sovereignty and independence and to demand an end to the U.S. government's anti-Cuba policy.

A democratic foreign policy must recognize the right of independent sovereign nations to organize their societies as they see fit. The U.S. government's illegal and inhuman policy of subversion and aggression – its on-going attempt to starve a nation into submission – must be brought to an end. The U.S. must end its embargo and interference against Cuba and enter into normal relations with the Cuban government and people.