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      Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Kiev demand:
      No Title III! Lift the U.S. Blockade on Cuba!
      Canada, retain embassy processing visa in Cuba!

      By Janine Solanki

      On May 2, 2019, the U.S. government activated Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which threatens Cuba’s economy by punishing foreign entities who do business with Cuba. This is on top of nearly 60 years of the criminal U.S. blockade. With Title III, the Trump administration is escalating its hostile and aggressive campaign against Cuba.

      The government of Canada is also taking hostile steps against Cuba. In January 2019, the Trudeau administration reduced 50% of its staff at the Canadian embassy in Cuba, based on the fictitious dis-proven claims of “sonic attack” against U.S. and Canadian embassy staff. Despite a lack of evidence, the Canadian government has now announced that its embassy in Havana will no longer process applications for visitor and residence visas or work and study permits. This impacts Canadian-Cuban families and greatly disrupts the people to people exchanges between Cuba and Canada. Now Cuban musicians, artists, professors, students, and athletes will not be able to travel to Canada without great difficulty.

      Cuba has faced six decades of the U.S. blockade, and countless U.S. operations aimed at bringing down the Cuban government and harming the people of Cuba. However, despite enormous pressure, Cuba has never faltered in its commitment to provide universal healthcare and education to the Cuban people, and have fought to advance the gains of the Cuban revolution. With so much that Cuba has been able to accomplish, one can just imagine how much more Cuba could do if the U.S. blockade was lifted!

      On May 17, Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver brought people together for a monthly picket action in front of the U.S. consulate in downtown Vancouver. With banners, flags and picket signs reading “Lift the Blockade on Cuba!” and “USA: End Cuba “Regime Change” Programs!” the protesters made their demands loud and clear to the U.S. consulate offices above. In between rounds of chanting and picketing, activists and supporters gathered together to hear from speakers. This included a voice message from activists in Ottawa Cuba Connections, who also held their monthly picket action in front of the U.S. Embassy. This message reminds protesters that not only is this action in Vancouver, but part of coordinated monthly protests in Montreal and Ottawa, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine!

      Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver is committed to defending Cuba’s right to self-determination and demanding an end to the U.S. blockade and the return of the U.S. occupied territory of Guantanamo, Cuba. To find out about the next action visit http://vancubavsblockade.org or follow on Facebook and Twitter @NoBloqueoVan

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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