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International Days of Action Lead to International Victory for Cuba at the UN!
Vancouver Actions Demand: End the Blockade on Cuba Now!
By Noah Fine
October 2016 marked one of the greatest victories of Cuba’s decades long effort to bring an end to the illegal and unjust U.S. blockade of their island. For the 25th consecutive year the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to bring an end to the blockade. This year with 192 countries voting in favor of Cuba’s resolution and only the U.S. and Israel abstaining from the vote, the world displayed almost unanimously its’ condemnation of the blockade.
Leading up to the vote Cuba asked friends from around the world to join them in an international period of action demanding an end to the U.S. Blockade. Cuba’s call to action this time came with a special request that groups join them in a “flashmob” style dance themed against the Blockade. Groups from around the world answered Cuba’s call, including the Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade-Vancouver (FCAB).
On October 17th, 2016 FCAB organized a special day of action in solidarity with Cuba and against the blockade. Supporters of Cuba first gathered in front of the U.S. Consulate downtown Vancouver to hold a monthly protest action against the U.S. blockade. However this month was planned with Cuba’s requested flashmob dance. Friends of Cuba all took part in a live musical and dance performance in front of the U.S. Consulate regardless of the heavy rain.
After the protest action, participants made their way to Joe’s Café on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver to take part in a conference and webinar about the U.S. Blockade on Cuba. FCAB organized the webinar so that groups and individuals from around the world could watch the conference in real-time and participate no matter where they live over the Internet. FCAB coordinator Azza Rojbi welcomed participants to the conference before showing a video interview with Cuban minister in charge of US affairs, Josefina Vidal. Josefina has been chief negotiator in the U.S.-Cuba reestablishment of relations.
FCAB coordinator Azza Rojbi then gave a history of the U.S. Blockade on Cuba concluding with addressing the changes that have been made in U.S.-Cuba relations but emphasizing on the critical issues that the U.S. has not yet changed: The U.S. Blockade, occupation of Guantánamo Bay and financing regime change programs against Cuba. “Although we acknowledge the achievements of the Obama government in reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, we must continue to mount pressure on the U.S. government until they end the most criminal aspects of their over half century attacks against the Cuban people,” stated Rojbi. “We will continue our monthly protest campaign in front of the U.S. Consulate alongside many other events until the U.S. respects the Self-Determination of Cuba by ending the blockade,” concluded Azza.
The webinar and conference concluded with another performance of the flashmob dance against the blockade.
To see the full webinar video and flashmob dance performance click HERE
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