By Cheryl LaBash
When U.S. cruise ships were suddenly blocked from anchoring in Cuban ports, were you or someone you know one of the 800,000 people already booked to go to Cuba? Are you a Cuban living in the U.S., with family and friends in Guantánamo province, Holguín, Camagüey, Santiago or other eastern areas, who suddenly can’t fly to any Cuban airport except Havana?
Every week, the U.S. government intensifies the unilateral economic, financial and commercial blockade just a little bit more. According to Engage Cuba, every Democratic presidential nominee is on record for more normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Yet during the Democratic presidential debate in Iowa, Cuba went unmentioned.
Are you angry about this but don’t know what to do? Does Cuba seem like just another issue and you hope impeachment will solve It?
Don’t wait for impeachment or the elections in November 2020 to demand that Congress #UnblockCuba. No matter which presidential candidate is elected or which electoral party wins or loses, only our actions will make U.S.-Cuba relations a priority.
Organize for and attend the March 21-22 U.S.-Cuba Normalization Conference at Fordham University School of Law in New York City. Together we will develop an action program to organize in our communities.
In addition to the Cuban people who now suffer cooking gas shortages, we will also benefit from ending the cruel U.S. blockade.
To give an example: Black and Brown communities and other workers here know the horror of diabetic foot ulcer amputations. Cuba has a medical treatment to avoid the trauma and cost of 70 percent of these surgeries. Yet it is denied to our loved ones by the blockade.
Why should we be forced to violate U.S. law to seek treatment for lung cancer in Cuba? Watch the Public Broadcasting System’s “Nova” program airing April 1 to learn more about Cuba’s lung cancer medication Cimavax and the trials being conducted at Roswell Park in Buffalo, N.Y.
Let’s take action together and overturn the laws passed by Congress to take away the rights of the Cuban people to decide their own future.
Let’s go to Cuba
Don’t let Trump’s White House tell you where you can go. Let’s go to Cuba.
From April 26 to May 10, the 15th International May Day Brigade lets you live, work and learn with the Cuban people. Go to the celebration of International Workers’ Day on May 1 in Havana and an international solidarity conference on May 2. Watch the I Can Go To Cuba video. To reserve your space, apply now; download the application at NNOC.info.
Or you can join the 31st Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba from July 17 to July 30. For more information about the 2020 Friendshipment Caravan, to request an application, or to host or attend a meeting in cities across the U.S. and Canada in April, contact IFCO/Pastors for Peace by email at FriendshipmentCaravan [at] ifconews.org or call (212) 926-5757, ext. 6.
The 51st Contingent of the Venceremos Brigade is also in preparation. Meetings are being held across the U.S. reporting back about last year’s historic 50th Venceremos Brigade. Visit VB4Cuba.com for info.
Building Relations with Cuban Labor is sponsoring one-week, union-oriented travel for May Day, plus other tours and events.
Have your representative and senator signed on to the Freedom to Travel bills? HR 3960 and S2303 will end the restrictions on travel to Cuba. Tell your elected officials this is a priority for you.
Resolutions from City Councils or other elected bodies count! So far, 13 U.S. municipalities have made the views of their residents to #UnblockCuba known to Congress and the White House. Currently, activists in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C., are working on getting resolutions passed.
Advancing resolutions and electoral work will be a topic at the U.S.-Cuba Normalization Conference. For advice or information, email Cheryl [at] nnoc.info.
Cheryl LaBash is Co-Chair of National Network on Cuba, activist and writer