Just about the same time that Philando Castile’s mother was standing outside a court house in Minnesota crying for justice for her murdered son, because his killer had just been found innocent, President Trump was in Miami condemning Cuba
for gross human rights violations while he signed an executive order aimed at derailing the road to normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States that has been going on since December 17, 2014.
Philandro Castile was the young Black man who was murdered in his car with his seat belt on after being pulled over for no reason other than the color of his skin. The officer shot Castile five times at point blank range while his girlfriend, with her baby in the back seat, live streamed the atrocity sending it viral to a horrified world. Nothing like that could happen in Cuba while in the U.S. scenes like this are an all too common occurrence.
Meanwhile speaking from his alter reality to a shrinking base of hardened, arch- reactionary anti Cubans, Trump also accused Cuba of “spreading violence and instability,” as another justification to increase restrictions on travel of Americans to Cuba and to double down on the blockade by eliminating any business dealings with Cuban state run enterprises administrated by the Cuban military. This coming from the president of a country whose imperial interests are fully engaged in threatening and destabilizing the world from sea, air and from its hundreds of military bases that occupy territory in over 90 countries.
What Cuba does spread around the world is solidarity through its medical and educational brigades. The overwhelming vote in the UN every October against the blockade of Cuba is a clear indication of how the people and the countries of the world feel about Cuba.
As expected the Cuban response to Trump’s rhetoric was measured and dignified. “The Cuban Government rejects the political manipulation and double standards in the treatment of the issue of human rights. The Cuban people enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms, and exhibit achievements that we all feel proud of and that are an illusion for many countries of the world, including the United States, such as the right to health, education, social security, equal pay for equal work, the rights of the children, the right to food , peace and development. With its modest resources, Cuba has also contributed to the improvement of human rights in many parts of the world, despite the limitations imposed on it by the conditions of being a blockaded country.”
In the U.S. 65% of the population are for the normalization of relations with Cuba and even more for the right to unrestricted travel there. Is this majority going to stand by while Trump tries to return to a punitive policy that was a costly failure for over fifty years?
For those of us in the Cuban solidarity movement who have gone through the ups and downs, we need to look at this development as an opportunity to expand our struggle to oppose Trump and those like him through activity and events. We need to bring the reality of Cuba, a country that shows a better world is possible, to new audiences in the U.S. That is our task.
The International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity and others are already organizing for the 3rd Days of Action against the Blockade of Cuba in Washington DC, September 11- 16, 2017.
This year we are featuring the remarkable advancements that Cuba has made in the field of medicine and health. We have already contacted a number of U.S. health organizations, unions, faculties and students at medical schools in the Washington Area and there is a lot of interest in setting up meetings and events.
The purpose of our activities is to raise awareness about the impact that the U.S. blockade is having on the health of the Cuban people as well as people in the U.S. who are denied access to the advancements that Cuba has made.
We have invited three Cuban health care professionals to be with us in Washington, and they have accepted our invitation. Two of whom were on the front line fighting Ebola in West Africa, and the other is a leading figure in Pediatric Oncology in Havana. We are also inviting US graduates from the Latin America School of Medicine (ELAM) to join us in Washington DC.
The activities in Washington DC from September 11-16 will include:
- Visits to Capitol Hill directed at representatives whose cities, towns or state have high percentages of people affected with diabetes, cancer.
- A briefing in Congress with Cuban Health Professionals
- Events in Medical Schools with students and professors.
- Meetings with health professionals in health institutions.
- Closing will be a public cultural event of solidarity with Cuba.
- Join us in DC in September.
- Make a donation towards this project. Click here to DONATE
- Organize parallel events cities across the United States.
- Organize parallel events in your country.