Artists, intellectuals, political leaders, people’s movements, trade unions, and political parties from around the world have come together in a historic campaign to demand that U.S. President Joe Biden remove Cuba from his country’s list of so-called state sponsors of terrorism.
The convening organizations of this campaign are the International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA), ALBA Movimientos, Foro de São Paulo, Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, Jornada Continental por la Democracia y Contra el Neoliberalismo, World March of Women, Continental Latin American and Caribbean Network in Solidarity with Cuba, and La Vía Campesina. They are working to collect more than one million signatures on a letter addressed to the US President, asking that Cuba be removed from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The letter is planned to be delivered to Biden on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2023.
The letter states that Cuba’s inclusion on the list, “makes it much harder for Cuba to make transactions using international banking systems and acquire necessary goods on the international market, such as fuel, food, construction supplies, hygiene products, and medicine.”
Well known persons who have already signed the campaign letter include Chico Buarque, renowned Brazilian musician; Citlalli Hernandez, Senator and Secretary General of the Mexican MORENA party; Peter Mertens, President of the Belgian Workers’ Party; Judith Butler, scholar and women’s rights activist; Ernesto Samper, former Colombian President; and Evo Morales, former Bolivian President.
It may be recalled that on January 11, 2021, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo had announced that “The State Department has designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism”. This was in retaliation to Cuba’s opposition to the US attempts to topple the duly elected government of Venezuela and to impose a trade boycott against that country. The US accused Cuba of “providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbour to terrorists.”
With this designation of Cuba, the US imposed new sanctions that include a ban on travel from the US to Cuba and transfer of money between the two countries, thus affecting many Cuban families who have relatives in the US.
Ever since the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which overthrew the US backed regime in that country, the U.S. has refused to establish equal relations with Cuba. It has refused to respect the sovereignty of the Cuban people and their right to adopt a social, political and economic system of their choice. The US imperialist state has waged continuous economic and military attacks against the Cuban people, including an invasion, attempts to assassinate its leaders, terrorist attacks against civilians, economic sanctions and systematic economic sabotage.
Through its economic blockade and policies against Cuba, the US state has caused enormous damage to the economy of Cuba. It is responsible, among other things, for the denial of life-saving medicines and medical equipment for the seriously ill.
On the other hand, the world is witness to the heroic efforts of Cuban doctors and health workers, who have travelled around the world to assist people in other countries facing crises of natural calamities, earthquakes, pandemics etc., including the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The US is the foremost terrorist state in the world. It has spread lies and slanders, carried out brutal interference as well as armed aggression and occupation, against countries that have refused to toe the line of US imperialism. Besides Cuba, the US state has designated Iran, North Korea and Syria as “sponsors of terrorism.” Despite worldwide opposition, the US continues its blockade and sanctions against Cuba, clearly exposing its hypocrisy in claiming to be the defender of “democracy” and “human rights” and a “rules-based order”.
The Cuban people have every right to pursue the economic and political system of their choice. These have not caused harm to people of any other country. Cuba has boldly opposed the aggressive activities of US imperialism against other countries.
The unjust blockade, sanctions and other hostile measures perpetrated by the US imperialists against the proud and valiant Cuban people deserve to be severely condemned.