Early in the morning on Thursday April 30, 2020, a gunman attacked the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC. He shot at the building using an assault rifle, while yelling obscenities and threats to those inside. Thirty-two bullets were fired damaging the building and courtyard, thankfully, no one was hurt.
Recently from Havana, Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, once again denounced the 'complicit silence' of the White House, which has taken little action in seeking justice for Cuba.
The attacker, Alexander Alazo Baró, has been presented as an unstable drug user living in his car who hears voices by the American mainstream media. However, Cuba sees clear evidence that this man arrived with the intention to attack and kill for political reasons, this was made clear with an "AK-47 rifle, 32 shell casings, 32 bullet holes and a statement," Rodriguez stated. Furthermore, Rodriguez reminded the world that the U.S. government’s silence cannot be separated from its hostile policy against Cuba, which incites hatred and violence towards Cuba.
In a letter to Canada’s Foreign Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, the Canadian Network on Cuba is asking Champagne to work with Cuba to insist that the U.S. investigates the April 30 attack with full transparency and disclosure.
Dear Minister Champagne,
Re: April 30, 2020 Attack on Embassy of Cuba in the United States and Ongoing U.S. Aggression Against Cuba
The world, including Canadians, were shocked by the attack on the Embassy of Cuba in the United States that occurred on April 30, 2020. The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) resolutely and unreservedly condemns this terrorist act.
Under international law - specifically the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations - the United States is obligated to ensure the security of diplomats and diplomatic premises. Not only did Washington fail in that duty, it has failed to condemn the attack. The failure to condemn this act of terror is a flagrant violation of diplomatic norms, creating a situation in which Cuban diplomats in the United States will face the very real possibility of ongoing coercion or harassment. This is unacceptable.
Moreover, the April 30 attack occurs within the context of increasingly hostile and belligerent actions against Cuba by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Washington’s hostile actions extend to actively and openly denying the island nation access to the medical equipment, medicines and protective gear needed to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surely, in the face of the worldwide corona virus menace, now is the time put political differences aside in order to control the pandemic and save lives?!
In 2014, the world rejoiced to see the restoration of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The world held out great hopes that relations between the two countries would be normalized. Canada helped by providing a venue for the talks which led to the improvement of those relations. However, under the administration of Donald Trump, we have witnessed an incessant and unabating policy of overt and ever escalating hostility and aggression against Cuba. The United States continues to zealously pursue and implement the extensive series of economic sanctions arrayed against the island nation. In short, Washington is waging an economic war – more than an embargo - and an overt campaign of subversion against Cuba, with the objective of negating and extinguishing Cuba’s right to self-determination, sovereignty and independence.
For 28-consecutive years, the United Nations has rejected this policy of aggression and subversion by condemning the economic sanctions – a veritable blockade- imposed on Cuba by United States. Canada has repeatedly been counted in the vast ranks of the world’s nations resoundingly rejecting the coercive and unilateral U.S. policy
Therefore, the CNC - representing, Canada-Cuba friendship and solidarity organizations across Canada, ranging from Vancouver to Halifax - calls on the Government of Canada to insist that the United States:
1. Investigates the April 30 attack with full transparency and disclosure;
2. Ceases its acts and policy of hostility and aggression against Cuba;
3. Ends its on going measures that prevent Cuba accessing and importing medical equipment and medicines to confront COVID-19; and
4. Ends all U.S. economic sanctions against the island nation.
In closing, I wish to thank you in advance for your consideration of these issues. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Co-Chair and National Spokesperson
Canadian Network On Cuba
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