Detroit — Events on Feb. 5 demonstrated the profound disconnect between poor and working people and the U.S. government.
In the morning, the city of Detroit’s City Council voted unanimously to urge “Congress and the President to immediately end all aspects of the United States’ economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, including restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens. Venceremos.”
But that evening, Donald Trump’s State of the Union address endorsed regime change in Venezuela and the self-appointed, counterrevolutionary Juan Guiadó as president. The Jan. 30 Wall Street Journal characterized the U.S. attack on Venezuela as the first step in “reshaping Latin America,” also aimed at Cuba.
During public comment on the Detroit resolution, three people spoke in favor, none opposed. Mike Shane, who traveled to Cuba in October 2017, explained what it was like looking at Cuba through Detroit eyes during his visit. He asked Cubans about foreclosures, evictions and water shutoffs for nonpayment of bills. Cubans reacted with surprise, since they have never experienced anything like that.
Detroit is now the eleventh city to adopt such a resolution, following Richmond, Berkeley, Sacramento and Oakland in California; Helena, Mont.; Minneapolis; and most recently St. Paul, Minn.; Pittsburgh; Brookline, Mass.; and Hartford, Conn. Hartford is the second such city resolution in 2019, following St. Paul on Jan. 23.
U.S. cities are joining international voices to end the decadeslong economic war against socialist Cuba. Since 1992, the majority of countries in the United Nations General Assembly have also called on the U.S. to end its unilateral hostility to its island neighbor. In 2018, 189 countries supported Cuba’s resolution with only two opposed — the U.S. and Israel.