Calls have been made for American citizens to put pressure on its government to lift the decades-long US blockade of Cuba. Members of the Friends of Cuba Society in the Western Cape held a lunchtime picket in Cape Town.
This ahead of a debate and vote in the United Nations General Assembly later on Wednesday, on the need for the blockade to be lifted.
SACP calls on the US to lift economic sanctions against Cuba:
The Friends of Cuba Society says the over 60-year-long embargo on the Island nation is an affront to human rights. It says there is no doubt that like in previous years, the number of votes against the blockade will once again be overwhelming.
The General Assembly resolutions are, however, not binding.
The Society’s Father Michael Lapsey has called on Americans to assist the Biden Administration in removing the blockade.
“During the Obama presidency, there was a point in which the United States abstained. We call on the people of the United States to insist that the Biden administration act to totally remove this illegal and immoral blockade. We as the Friends of Cuba Society, we started from the very beginning to oppose the blockade and we will keep on opposing it until the day that it is totally dismantled and then there can be normal relations between the United States and Cuba,” says Lapsey.
Secretary of the Young Communists League of South Africa, Tinyiko Ntini, has called on US President Joe Biden to not be a demagogue.
“Our last message to Joe Biden himself is that he must never be a demagogue. If in those days he was able to fight against apartheid South Africa, then its high time that he starts to show the world that indeed he can transform the us to be a better country that respects international law by today, making sure that himself he votes against his own decision.”
‘Embargo has crippled Cuba’s economy’
The Society says the continued embargo has not only crippled Cuba’s economic development, but also violates international law.
“It is unimaginable how a democratic country such as the United States want us to believe that they are democratic if they continue to stay in Cuba in the manner in which they do, including preventing Cuba from pursuing its own development path. But most importantly, we do this as an act of solidarity with Cuba as an obligation to humaneness.
Cuba deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for the kind of actions its takes worldwide, not yesterday, not only because of COVID-19 recently, but building the health systems in its region so that people can be treated first in their countries with good health systems which have no size in the world,” says Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli.
The Friends of Cuba Society hopes that the Biden administration will reactivate initiatives undertaken by former president Barack Obama to start normalising relations between the two countries.