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      #NoMasBloqueo #SomosCuba

      By Janine Solanki

      2020 started out with yet another measure to tighten the U.S. blockade on Cuba, increasing the enormous strain that the blockade puts on the Cuban economy and the Cuban people even more. On January 10, 2020 the U.S. State Department announced the suspension of charter flights from the U.S. to every airport in Cuba - except Havana. This unjustifiable action comes after similar measures were put in place by the U.S. government in December 2019, regarding commercial flights to Cuba.

      In announcing this measure, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared, "Today’s action will further restrict the Cuban regime’s ability to obtain revenue, which it uses to finance its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its unconscionable support for dictator Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela." The hypocrisy of this statement is astounding. If Pompeo wants to talk about repression, consider that the United States has about 22% of the world's prison population, with only about 5% of the world’s population! Or that while 25% of Americans say they or a family member have delayed medical treatment for a serious illness due to the costs of care (Gallup poll, December 2019), often leading to preventable deaths, in Cuba and Venezuela healthcare is free, with their main challenge to healthcare being the U.S. blockade!

      Lift the Inhumane, Brutal and illegal Blockade on Cuba

      In Vancouver, Canada, Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade (FCAB) is bringing the injustice of the U.S. blockade on Cuba to the streets every month, in coordination with activists in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine. On January 17, FCAB had the first action of 2020, and despite the snow brought together a committed group of activists and supporters. The protesters picketed in front of the U.S. Consulate and gathered to hear from local speakers, and to hear a voice message of solidarity from Ottawa Cuba Connections who had a coordinated action in front of the U.S. Embassy. At the end of the action the activists gathered under the United States Consulate building sign, holding a banner and signs reading “End the U.S. Blockade on Cuba Now!” and “Return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba!” This defiant photo can be found on social media, tweeted and shared for people around the world to see the support Cuba has internationally!

      To find out about the next monthly action against the U.S. blockade on Cuba, visit www.vancubavsbloqueo.org or find FCAB on Facebook or on Twitter @NoBloqueoVan

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