D.C. anti-imperialists stand in solidarity with Cuban Revolution

Activists rally in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15. Photo: Ben Gutman

On Nov. 13, a small group of activists led by the D.C. Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution gathered in front of the Cuban Embassy on 16th Street Northwest to reaffirm a core revolutionary anti-imperialist demand: an end to the murderous blockade and continuous U.S. interference in Cuban affairs. 

Ever since corporate media propagandists bombarded the public with around-the-clock news updates on the overblown, U.S.-cultivated Cuban counterrevolutionary protests in July, many leftists living within the imperial core have gotten caught up in a manufactured spell that aims to drain any militant solidarity with the Cuban people and their revolution.     

This increased complacency and inability to critically analyze information coming from a mainstream press in lockstep with U.S. regime change goals, in part, prompted a further emboldened hawkish establishment to attempt a second color revolution within five months in Cuba. 

Fortunately, protests scheduled for Nov. 15 and brazenly advertised by the U.S. State Department turned into a massive flop. A network of anti-imperialist solidarity events held in more than 80 cities around the world helped ensure that this act of aggression would become the latest addition to a long list of failed destabilization tactics designed to end more than 60 years of revolutionary socialism 90 miles from the epicenter of global capitalism. 

In Washington D.C., several activists from the small rally days earlier returned to the Cuban Embassy on Nov. 15, reinforced by dozens of comrades from D.C.-area anti-imperialist organizations, including Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), Code Pink, the D.C. Metro Communist Party, the D.C. branch of the Party for Socialism & Liberation, the ANSWER Coalition, the Claudia Jones School and Friends of Latin America. 

Erica Caines, a BAP Coordinating Committee member, vehemently condemned this most recent manifestation of U.S. interventionism abroad and called on all anti-imperialist leftists to stand in solidarity with the Cuban people. 

“As we know, sanctions kill. And while these will be framed as supporting human rights, the 60-plus-year-long blockade and recent Trump and Biden administration crackdowns are war tactics that represent violence against Cuban people, particularly Afro-Cubans,” Caines said. 

“The Black Alliance for Peace’s Haitian-American community recognizes these signals as part of a long-term concerted attempt to destabilize and delegitimatize the Cuban government whose socialist principles and decades-long defiance of U.S. imperialism are unacceptable to the U.S. white supremacist empire.”

In addition to the longstanding economic blockade and the 243 additional punitive measures enacted during the Trump administration, the U.S. government has continued to fund “human rights” organizations and anti-government media outlets through institutions like the National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA front founded by Ronald Reagan in 1983. 

The Nov. 15 “Civic March for Change” — the failed anti-socialist protest in Cuba —  was planned by organizations being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), another CIA cutout used to destabilize any country whose government does not bend the knee to U.S. dictates. 

Due to the blatant U.S. cultivation, funding and advertisement of the planned Nov. 15 march, the Cuban government denied permission to hold the protest, refusing to allow foreign interference in its affairs. The Biden administration subsequently threatened Cuba with more sanctions for denying its people permission to protest. Ironically, the U.S. government has had no problem violently repressing its own citizens protesting everything from police violence to corporate-led destruction of the environment.         

Sean Blackmon, a local organizer with the Stop Police Terror Project D.C., led more than 50 activists in chanting “Cuba sí, bloqueo no” and “Let Cuba live”. Despite chants from across the street of “liar, liar, liar” from a handful of Cuban anti-revolutionaries attempting to drown out the solidarity rally, Blackmon continued the scheduled program with a speech. 

“We don’t believe another people should be part of a quote-unquote ‘backyard’ for larger, more powerful and more wealthy nations. We believe in humanity. We are a people of conscience, unlike the U.S. government”, Blackmon said. “If you care about human rights, why would you stop people from eating and getting medicine and being able to send remittances back to their families?”     

As Cuba reopens for travel and looks to jumpstart its tourism sector damaged by U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 crisis, activists standing in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution should expect the U.S. government to continue its suffocating economic warfare and destabilization tactics. 

It’s incumbent upon anti-imperialist activists in the U.S. to do our part to make sure these aggressions continue to fail. This includes educating comrades who have strayed away from militant solidarity with socialist movements in the Third World or been led astray by constant mass media propaganda. 

Political education and media literacy are key to furthering the global revolution against all forms of neo-colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalist exploitation. As revolutionary freedom fighter Assata Shakur once said: “The people in the U.S. have to struggle against a system of organized lies.”