The Biden administration certainly must have gotten the message after the United Nations General Assembly condemned the U.S. starvation blockade on Cuba by a vote of 185 to 2 and for the 30th consecutive year. Country after country denounced the U.S. economic war while making special emphasis to remove Cuba from the spurious, arbitrary U.S. State Department State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list.
Both capitalist parties may thumb their noses in imperial fashion at the world’s U.N. votes, but already two U.S. labor organizations are telling the Biden administration to pay attention to voices in the U.S. beyond the minority in South Florida and take Cuba off the SSOT.
At the end of October, the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, Southern California Region, issued a resolution that “strongly urges President Biden and Congress … to remove Cuba from the United States list of state sponsors of terrorism.” Now, just weeks later, the Troy, New York, Labor Council’s Nov. 16 resolution also called for the Biden administration to remove Cuba from the SSOT.
A draft resolution calling on the Biden administration to use its executive authority to remove Cuba from the State Department’s sanction-enhancing list is being circulated among city councils, state legislatures, labor organizations, county commissions, school boards and others. Already resolutions from elected bodies opposing U.S. policy toward Cuba have been passed that represent more than 40 million U.S. constituents.
Facts should matter. The Obama administration removed Cuba from the unilateral State Department list. Nothing had changed when on Jan. 12, 2021, outgoing President Donald Trump used his authority to besmirch Cuba by declaring it a SSOT.
And who is the U.S. government to create such a list, considering the havoc it wreaks on the planet? Cuba has been an example of solidarity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives at home by developing its own vaccines and across the world with the Henry Reeve Brigade. Even before the SSOT designation, some 243 surgically-honed additional sanctions targeted Cuba’s economy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, intentionally harming the Cuban people.
As Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla said on Nov. 3 at the United Nations General Assembly debate on Cuba’s resolution to end the U.S. blockade:
“The financial persecution has been further reinforced with the arbitrary and fraudulent inclusion of our country in the State Department’s unilateral list of alleged countries sponsoring terrorism, which exponentially raises the so-called Country Risk and forces us to pay for any merchandise even at double its price in the international market.
“Such action is inadmissible against a nation that is a victim of terrorism, which even today suffers the instigation of violence and terrorist acts from U.S. territory; and whose conduct of firm rejection and persecution of any form or manifestation of terrorism is unimpeachable and recognized.
“It was a lethal measure imposed by the previous Republican administration, only nine days [before] leaving the White House. The current president could correct it with just a signature. It would be the morally correct and lawful thing to do.”
This is why the member groups of the National Network on Cuba are focusing their work in the upcoming year on removing Cuba from the SSOT list – a step toward ending the unjust, cruel one-sided economic war on Cuba. What more can you do?
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