July26.org action set for Juneteenth / Saturday, June 19, 1:00pm at the Park St. MBTA station
— Photos here.
As June 23 UN Vote Nears, Voices/Actions Intensify
Increased disapprovals of Biden’s failure to follow-up his campaign condemnation of Trump’s oppressive Cuba sanctions and promise of a reversal are being voiced across the political spectrum. Left solidarity groups are mobilizing against the blockade with a focus on the annual overwhelming denunciation of the U.S. Embargo by the United Nations General Assembly. July 26.org is a part of these efforts.
EngageCuba.org, a broad-based, mainstream group, announced “56 groups urge the Biden-Harris administration to take immediate action to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations” back in February, as did the diversely-supported Latin America Working Group in its own press release. The libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation issued a call to “Lift the Embargo on Cuba” in March. At the end of this month, the Miami Herald published a story about how “Republican Sen. Jerry Moran hopes to lift embargo on Cuba to boost Kansas farmers”; William LeoGrande, Dean of the American University of Public Affairs, wrote asking “Will Joe Biden Continue America’s Delusional Cuba Policy?” for The National Interest, whose Center’s honorary chairman is Henry Kissinger, and another about “Hunger as a Weapon: How Biden’s Inaction Is Aggravating Cuba’s Food Crisis” for the progressive-oriented Common Dreams. Just days ago a recorded webinar on “Right to Live Without a Blockade: Impact of US sanctions on the Cuban population & women’s lives” discussed the findings of a recently released Oxfam report of the same name.
Radical, Soldarity journalistic outlets and activist groups are growing more emphatic. Witness the May 29th Resumen editorial on “Cuba: The Murderous Blockade” — the round-up of text and photos of May 30 Caravans against the Embargo from more than 70 countries, including 19 cities in the U.S.* A good summary of it all is the basis for Medea Benjamin’s call to “Make Normalizing Relations with Cuba a Priority.” Branko Marcetic on “The US Blockade on Cuba Must End” is also a good historical analysis that explains why “blockade” rather than “embargo” is an appropriate characterization of US policy.
With leadership from US-CubaNormalization.org including the Saving Lives Campaign and the National Network on Cuba, some of the key activities taking place during the Week of Action leading up to the June 23 UN General Assembly vote include:
- Thursday, June 17, 9am EST – Solidarity vs. Blockade, hosted by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), streaming at this link. More info here.
- Sunday, June 20 – More Car Caravans across the country
- Tu-Wed, June 22-23 – 24 hour virtual picket against the Blockade, featuring speakers, cultural performances and more. Register here.
- Wed, June 23 – street protests – New York and elsewhere; 8:00 pm ET, Celebrate the Overwhelming Vote Against The Blockade!
July26.org has signed onto the initiative shared with us by the NNOC co-chairs from the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE) for an organizational sign on letter addressed to the Biden administration and the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
ACERE told its members, allies and supporters, “This vote is a nearly unanimous expression of solidarity with the Cuban people against the outdated and punishing policies of the United States, which have proven to lead to international condemnation of the U.S., not Cuba. We are sending President Biden a letter asking him to abstain in the vote, as his predecessor President Obama did, and to use the occasion to announce his administration’s plans in moving towards normalization with Cuba.”
The deadline for signing was Friday, May 28. The letter can be found here and includes 114 national and local sign-ons. A practically identical letter for individuals to sign onto, hosted at CODEPINK, is still open and can be found here. Please join us.
Our major event during the week of action will be Saturday, June 19th/Juneteenth, 1:00-2:00, at the Park Street MBTA station at the corner of the Boston Commons (a Facebook event to share here). As this is Juneteenth, we’re hoping to build on the lessons from the two webinars on “Why There Are No George Floyds in Cuba” — the US-CubaNormalization Program in July 2020 and the more recent IFCO/Pastors for Peace Program this past April, both with August Nimtz, co-chair Minnesota Cuba Committee, professor of Political Science, African American and African Studies, University of Minnesota, and author of the essay by the same name. More information to follow.
* Albany, NY; Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Bloomington, IN; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Minneapolis, MN; New Haven, CT; New York City, NY; San Antonio, TX; San Diego,CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC.