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      Lift the Blockade of Cuba! Join the Car Caravan for Cuba!

      By Andrew Barry

      For over 60 years, the U.S. government has imposed a complete financial and economic blockade on the people of Cuba. And for over 60 years, the people of Cuba have resisted this economic warfare from the United States. Through revolutionary methods and various creative and dynamic responses, they have defended their country’s right to self-determination and built their socialist project in Cuba.

      In 1959, the Cuban people toppled the hated U.S. puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista. The U.S. government has never forgiven Cuba for this and has tried relentlessly to return Cuba to being a pawn controlled by U.S. business interests. Using its economic might, the U.S. has attempted to isolate Cuba and impose a cruel, unjust, and illegal blockade to starve the Cuban people to give up on their revolution and sovereignty.

      Throughout these six decades of hostility from the United States towards Cuba, international solidarity activists have defended Cuba and called for an immediate end to the U.S. blockade on Cuba. When the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe in early 2020, Cuba faced significant challenges and shortages as a result of this brutal blockade.

      The pandemic added another blow to the Cuban people, already suffering from the U.S. blockade for over six decades. Instead of the two countries coming together during the worldwide pandemic, as Cuba successfully developed five highly effective vaccines, the U.S. government, under President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, increased the intensity and cruelty of the blockade. Medical supplies used to combat the coronavirus, like syringes and masks, were extremely difficult to access in Cuba as the U.S. tightened the screws on the economic details of the blockade by adding numerous new sanction regimes.

      Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love)

      Cuban-American activist Carlos Lazo, who heads the Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love) organization in Miami, came up with a new form of protest in the time of pandemic: a car caravan for Cuba against the U.S. blockade! Vehicles lined up behind one another, covered with Cuban flags and banners condemning the blockade, are peacefully driven through the streets of Miami.

      Within a few months, this protest caught on around the world, and now, every last Sunday of the month, activists from across Cuba, the U.S., Canada, and the world form car caravans to defend Cuba against the US blockade!

      In Vancouver, Canada, the Friends of Cuba Against the Blockade have organized monthly car caravans to coincide with these international days of action against the blockade. These actions have been supported by Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), Yemeni Community Association of Canada, Vancouver Communist Party of Canada( Marxist-Leninist), Supporters of the Communist League in Vancouver, Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice – Vancouver, and Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO).

      Leading up to the May 29, 2022 car caravan, Cuba solidarity activists in Miami were threatened by right-wing anti-Cuban forces. These anti-Cubans posted on social media calling for their supporters to attack, intimidate and stop the Caravan from proceeding. Their goal was to sabotage the peaceful car caravan and destroy the democratic rights of the caravan supporters.

      Puentes de Amor issued a call out to solidarity activists from across the United States and Canada to come to join the Miami car caravan on May 29 to counter these right-wing threats of violence. Two organizers from Vancouver, Tamara Hansen and Alison Bodine, joined the call out and headed to participate, support and defend the Miami car caravan for Cuba against the US blockade!

      Tamara and Alison were joined by other activists from across the U.S. to support a large Miami car caravan. The right-wing anti-Cuban forces showed up as well to intimidate and threaten the peaceful caravanistas. Miami has traditionally been a hotbed of right-wing anti-Cuban activity, but this attempt to sabotage the caravan failed miserably as many Cuban-Americans joined the car caravan. The strength of the Cuba solidarity activists completed a dynamic and large car caravan against the blockade!

      The united effort of Cuba solidarity activists in Miami was a huge defeat for the U.S.-backed right-wing forces in Miami. It showed the significance of what working people fighting for human rights and against oppression can accomplish when we stand together in a united front.

      As the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. government has cruelly and unjustifiably intensified its blockade on the people of Cuba. Cubans have endured and stood up to six decades of this inhuman policy of hate and blockade from the U.S. We encourage peace-loving people from around the world to join the monthly car caravan for Cuba against the U.S. blockade! Cuba has a right to exist without a blockade attempting to strangle it!

      Lift the blockade on Cuba now!
      Let Cuba live!
      Cuba si, bloqueo no!

      Follow Andrew Barry on Twitter: @andrewbarry

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