July 14, 2021
The recent protests in Cuba over deteriorating conditions have a material basis that cannot be dismissed. No matter how heroic a people may be, socialism must provide for people’s material needs. The U.S. blockade of Cuba is designed precisely to thwart that and to discredit socialism in Cuba and anywhere else where oppressed people try to better their lot.
Cuban President Díaz-Canel warned in 2019:
“The US began to intensify a series of restrictive measures, a tightening of the blockade, of financial persecution against the energy sector with the aim of suffocating our economy and expecting that this would provoke the desired massive social outbreak, which sows the possibilities for the entire ideological campaign that it has done, to be able to call for humanitarian intervention that ends in military intervention and interference, and that affects the rights, sovereignty and independence of all peoples.”
Whatever the alleged problems of Cuba, it is being attacked precisely because that small island nation promises a humane alternative to the decaying neoliberal order of present-day capitalism and its pending crisis of legitimacy. If a critical spotlight is needed, it is not on how the Cubans with so little should have done better, but on how the imperialists with so much must be defeated. This is especially the case of those of us privileged enough to take for granted potable water coming out of a tap and 24/7 access to electricity, which is not the condition of much of humanity.
From Eisenhower to the present, U.S. policy on Cuba has been an unbroken continuation of economic sanctions, active support of regime-change activities, and occupation of Guantánamo. All illusions should be disabused that somehow a change in the Oval Office occupant would bring about a more humane U.S. imperialism. The specific tactics may vary from president to president, but the goal of strangling socialism has always been the guiding principle.
The cold, calculating cruelty of U.S. capitalism was exposed when it seized on the COVID crisis as an opportunity to further punish the Cuban people with increased illegal sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and continued by its successor.
Despite feints to the left on the campaign trail, Biden has, instead of discontinuing Trump’s deportation policy, intensified it. Instead of opening dialogue with the democratically elected government of Venezuela, Biden has embraced the puppet-president Guaidó in the name of “sovereignty.” And instead of accepting the prerogative to the Nicaraguan people to choose their own leaders, Biden has slapped new illegal sanctions aimed at undermining their upcoming elections in the name of “democracy.” Trump’s “Troika of Tyranny” — targeting Cuba (with 243 new sanctions), Nicaragua, and Venezuela — is Biden’s as well … and our challenge.
Since its triumph six decades ago, the Cuban Revolution has of necessity resisted the assaults of the U.S. and its allies. That Cuba has successfully not only persisted but has been an international model for the accomplishments of socialism does not mean that it will always be so. The Cubans can resist, but it is we who — in the words of Che Guevara — live in “the belly of the beast,” who must defend the revolution by ending the siege against it. This is not a time for complacency. The intensified U.S. interference in Cuba is a wakeup call for greater efforts at solidarity.
We call upon all supporters of peace, peoples’ sovereignty and social justice in the U.S. and around the world to join hands to put an end to U.S. criminal, anti-human sanctions and illegal interventions in the affairs of Cuba and other sovereign nations.
The U.S. Peace Council stands in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution!
— Hands off Cuba!
— End All Criminal Sanctions Against Cuba and other Sovereign Nations!