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      U.S. Hands Off Cuba!
      Lift the Blockade on Cuba Now!
      Cuba Vs. Bloqueo

      By Janine Solanki

      On June 4, 2019, the U.S. government banned U.S. cruise ships from travelling to Cuba and announced further restrictions on U.S. citizens trying to visit the island. This comes one month after the unprecedented and controversial activation of “Title III” of the Helms-Burton Act and is yet another unprovoked attack by the Trump administration against the Cuban people.

      “The tightening of the U.S. blockade against Cuba and its extraterritorial implementation is an attack on International Law and the sovereignty of all States. It is the main obstacle to our development and a flagrant violation of the human rights of all Cubans,” Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla said in a tweet in response to this new aggression by the U.S. government.

      Here in Canada, the Trudeau government is also taking unprecedented steps against the Cuban people. On May 8 the government of Canada announced that its embassy in Havana will no longer process applications for visitor and residence visas, or work and study permits. This has been met with protest from Cuba solidarity activists and Cuban-Canadian families alike. This measure is keeping families apart and stops Cuban musicians, artists, professors, students, and athletes from travelling to Canada without great difficulty.

      June 17 Picket Action

      Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver held a monthly action in front of the U.S. Consulate in downtown Vancouver. Cuba solidarity activists here in Vancouver, as well as in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine, join in a coordinated action on the 17th of every month, rain, shine or snow to demand an end to the criminal U.S. blockade. Protesters held up picket signs reading “Lift the U.S. Blockade on Cuba Now!” and “Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!” while picketing in front of the U.S. Consulate, chanting for the U.S. officials above to hear. Protesters gathered to hear from speakers between rounds of picketing, which included a voice message of solidarity from Ottawa Cuba Connections who were also protesting in front of the U.S. Embassy. To wrap up the action protesters held picket signs, banners and Cuban flags in defiance under the building sign of the United States Consulate General, and shared a photo of this on social media around the world!

      Cuba solidarity activists are standing firmly with Cuba to demand that Cuba’s sovereignty and self-determination be respected, without blockades, occupied territory like Guantanamo, and regime change programs that the U.S. government uses against Cuba. Vancouver activists together with friends of Cuba in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada, and Kiev, Ukraine will continue to unite to demand an end to the unjust U.S. blockade against Cuba and invite you to get involved! Find out more at www.vancubavsblockade.org or follow on Facebook and Twitter @nobloqueovan

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