What is Biden’s policy toward Cuba? The need for U.S. people to stand with Cuba

Click here for a list of Cuba caravan actions taking place across the country between April 23 & April 25.

Despite Biden’s “promise” during the election campaign that he would return U.S. policy toward Cuba to at least the measures implemented by Obama during his term, it turns out to be a hollow pledge.

Last Sunday, April 11, on a national TV talk show, Juan Gonzalez, Biden’s advisor on Latin America issues in the National Security Council, told “CNN en Español” (translated): “The political moment has changed in an important way, the political space has been closed a great deal because the Cuban government has not responded in any way, and in fact, the oppression against Cubans is even worse today than perhaps it was during the (George W.) Bush (2001-2009) administration.”

In his four years as president, Trump signed more than 240 orders and measures against Cuba to tighten the blockade. Among the more severe acts were, banning remittances from Cuban-American families to their loved ones on the island, placing Cuba on the "sponsor of state terrorism" list that is forcing other countries to also deny Cuba trade.

In April 2019, the regular stream of oil shipments from Venezuela to Cuba in recent years was cut off by Trump, impacting the island’s access to much-needed energy. U.S.-Cuba flights were greatly restricted. Just in the banking and finance sector, Cuba suffered 284.3 million dollars in losses from 2019 to 2020.

Biden’s apparent refusal to reverse Trump’s 240 reactionary actions against Cuba is the clearest admission that U.S. objectives in trying to overthrow the Revolution is a joint project of both parties.

The charge of Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” is false and an outrage. It is Cuba that has suffered from U.S.-backed terrorist attacks that have killed 3,478 Cuban citizens and injured 2,099.

Compounding the blockade’s negative effects is the COVID19 pandemic, in which Cuba’s international tourism industry had to cease due to necessary restrictions to limit the spread of the pandemic. In the year before the pandemic, Cuba received 4.2 million  tourists.

The 60-year blockade is a violation of International law, a criminal and inhumane policy to punish the Cuban people for their independence and sovereignty.

And yet, Cuba is being recognized worldwide for its remarkable COVID strategy, with its national health care system at the forefront, with its hundreds of Cuban doctors traveling to over 40 countries to treat COVID patients. Its famed biotechnology industry, free of the profit motive in its research and development, has produced and is testing five lines of vaccines, including Soberana02 and Abdala, now in their 3rd phase of testing.

If there is any doubt about the intention of the U.S. blockade directly targeting the Cuban people, one only has to read this 1960 excerpt from a secret, now declassified memorandum by Lester D. Mallory, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under President Eisenhower. He wrote it to propose an economic blockade:

Mallory wrote on April 6, 1960: "Most Cubans support Castro…There is no effective political opposition (…) The only possible way to make the government lose domestic support is by provoking disappointment and discouragement through economic dissatisfaction and hardships (…) Every possible means should be immediately used to weaken the economic life (…) denying Cuba funds and supplies to reduce nominal and real salaries with the objective of provoking hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the government."

With Biden’s apparent refusal to let up on the U.S. economic war, it is more and more incumbent that progressive forces come to Cuba’s aid. An international and U.S. campaign to hold car caravans to demand End the U.S. Blockade of Cuba is taking place the last Sunday of each month.

On Sunday, April 25, caravans are planned from New York City to Los Angeles and Miami to Seattle, and many other cities. Join a Cuba caravan to tell Washington, No More! End the Blockade Now! It is a great way to educate the public, raise visibility on this critical struggle. Click here for a list of Cuba caravan actions taking place across the country between April 23 & April 25. If there is not a caravan in your town for April 25, consider organizing one.

In the meantime, please enjoy this 12 min. video that aired on CNN recently, an amazing segment lauding Cuba's biotechnology industry and vaccines development.

In solidarity,

Brian Becker

National Director, ANSWER Coalition

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