The Friends of Cuba Society has picketed outside Parliament to draw attention to the plight of Cuban citizens who they say are suffering under trade embargoes that were imposed on the country by the United States.

The organisation’s secretary, Fatima Swartz, says they are demonstrating against the undermining of the Cuban economy and Cuban independence.

She says the people of Cuba have been suffering for too long because of US backed economic sanctions.

“We are seeing this strategy of sanctions being used not just against Cuba, but also against Venezuela and other countries. So it is very important at this point in time that the world stands up and says that societies, countries and their citizens have the right to organise their society in a way which benefits them and is best for them.”

Members of the Young Communist League of South Africa also demonstrated with the group to show solidarity with the people of Cuba. Chairperson of the league, Mabuse Mpe, says that they want to send a strong message to the US that they will rise as young people.

“We want to send a clear message to America that at some point we’ll rise as young people. There will be a revolt that will defeat America with its own selfish personal interest of oppressing other countries, because they taking advantage of these countries that don’t have a particular capacity to stand on their own.”

The Friends of Cuba Society says it will be demonstrating next week again in Cape Town and it has called on people from all walks of life to come and show support.