Just over two years after former US President
Obama’s historic announcement towards
normalizing relations with Cuba, the election
of Donald Trump posed the question, “what
will Trump’s policy be towards Cuba?” The
answer was given on June 16, 2017, when
Trump gave a speech in Miami and declared
that he will reverse the gains towards normalizing
US/Cuba relations made under
the Obama administration. So far this has
included tightening travel restrictions for
US citizens going to Cuba, and prohibitions
on financial transactions by American companies
with Cuban companies.
After over five decades of a cruel and inhuman
US blockade against Cuba, positive steps were
made by the Obama administration which included
the opening of diplomatic relations and
embassies in Havana and Washington, the easing
of travel restrictions for US citizens travelling to
Cuba and the opening of some limited trade, air
and sea travel. Despite these steps in the right
direction, Cuba solidarity activists in Vancouver
and around the world recognized that Obama’s
December 17, 2014 announcement signaled an
opportunity, not a promise, to lift the blockade on
Cuba, and that it was necessary to increase public
pressure against the US blockade. With the cruel
and immoral actions taken now by Trump it is
clear how correct the approach of continued and
increased action against the blockade was and is!
On June 17, just one day after Trump’s announcement
to tighten the US blockade, Friends of
Cuba Against the US Blockade - Vancouver
held a picket action in front of the US consulate.
These pickets have been organized monthly
and in coordination with activists in Ottawa and
on this day also with Montreal and Toronto.
Protesters brought a loud and clear response
to Trump’s hostile actions against Cuba, with
picket signs and voices raised high to demand
“End the US Blockade on Cuba Now!” and
“Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!” Energetic
rounds of picketing were mixed with speakers,
as well as a welcoming and closing song
and drumming from Indigenous activist and
hereditary chief Gordon August. Protesters
also heard from activists with Ottawa Cuba
Connections at their protest, and the two
groups shared chanting between the two cities
The next day, Friends of Cuba Against the
US Blockade – Vancouver were also on the
streets at the Main Street Car Free Festival,
with an info table complete with Cuban flags
and banners against the US blockade. The day
long festival saw a steady stream of people
attracted to a sign reading “Hey Trump – Lift
the US Blockade on Cuba!” Festival go-ers
were eager to get more information, sign the
petition against the blockade, and express their
opposition to Trump’s tightening of the US
blockade on Cuba!
Whether Obama, Trump or any other face in
the White House, in Vancouver and around
the world justice-loving people are standing
in solidarity with Cuba. Join Friends of Cuba
Against the US Blockade – Vancouver every
17th of the month at 4pm at the US Consulate
in downtown Vancouver to demand:
Lift the Blockade on Cuba Now!
Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!
Follow FCAB on Twitter @NoBloqueoVan
To get the latest updates on US/Cuba relations and find out how to get involved visit: www.vancubavsblockade.org
END THE BLOCKADE ON CUBA NOW!
RETURN GUANTANAMO TO CUBA NOW!
US GOVERNMENT STOP THE CAMPAIGN OF ‘REGIME CHANGE’ IN CUBA AND IMMEDIATELY STOP INTERFERING IN CUBA’S SOVEREIGNTY AND SELF-DETERMINATION!
Follow Alison Bodine on Twitter: @alisoncolette
Back to Article Listing