After nearly 60 years of the cruel and inhumane U.S. blockade on Cuba, the United States government still hasn’t gotten the message – The Cuban Revolution is still progressing despite the immense pressure of the U.S. blockade, and people around the world are continuing to stand in solidarity with the Cuban people. However, the U.S. is still escalating their hostile and aggressive campaign against Cuba. In January 2019, U.S. President Trump announced he is considering implementing part of the Helms-Burton Act, which codifies the U.S. blockade into law, in order to allow U.S. citizens to sue foreign companies and individuals over property nationalized in Cuba in the 1960s.
Furthermore, the U.S. government is considering including Cuba on its list of state sponsors of terrorism – an extremely hostile move that opens the door for further U.S. aggressive actions against Cuba. In addition to these recent developments and the ongoing mainstream media campaign against Cuba, the U.S. continues its illegal occupation of the Cuban territory of Guantánamo Bay.
On January 17, Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver held their first monthly picket action of 2019. These monthly actions started after December 17, 2014, when former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Cuban President Raul Castro made the historic announcement to normalize U.S./Cuba relations. Activists in Vancouver, Canada then recognized that this important first step towards ending the U.S. blockade signaled a critical time to increase public pressure to make this hope a reality.
On January 17 activists held protest signs and banners high and picketed in front of the U.S. consulate demanding “U.S. Hands off Cuba!” and “Lift the Blockade on Cuba Now!” In between rounds of picketing, protesters gathered to hear from local speakers, as well as a voice message of solidarity from Ottawa Cuba Connections, who were also out in protest on this day. This monthly Vancouver action is made stronger with the unity and coordination of other groups protesting the blockade on the same day each month, in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada as well as Kiev, Ukraine!
In Vancouver and around the world, supporters of Cuba will continue to defend the sovereignty and self-determination of Cuba, demanding an end to the U.S. blockade and the return of the U.S. occupied territory of Guantánamo Bay. To find out about upcoming actions in Vancouver visit www.vancubavsblockade.org or follow on Facebook and Twitter @NoBloqueoVan
Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki
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