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Issue #1692      July 8, 2015

US blockade continues –Cuba solidarity as well

The release from US prisons and return to Cuba of the remaining three of the Cuban Five on December 17 was a great victory. But it still leaves many outstanding issues. These include the criminal US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba and the illegal occupation of Guantánamo Bay. The priorities of the solidarity movement need to be refined to meet the new situation that Cuba now faces.

The pressure on the US needs to be maintained as negotiations are taking place between Cuba and the USA. International solidarity and public opinion have played a major role in many of the victories of the left and progressive forces.

The latest announcement is that as from July 20, diplomatic relations will be established between Cuba and the USA, with Cuba insisting that to have normal relations the blockade must be lifted and the Guantánamo Naval Base returned to Cuba.

To adapt to this new situation a meeting was held on June 22 in Havana to launch the International Committee of Solidarity With Cuba.It has links with ICAP (Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples) and the existing international solidarity movement.

The aim is not only to focus on Cuba but on Latin America. The International Committee recognises the need to expand the views and activities of the committee in line with its internationalist character. The meeting adopted a number of events that should be supported. These include:

  • The 17th* of each month be set aside to take part in solidarity actions worldwide. These should be broad including emails to, and demonstrations outside the appropriate embassies or business offices.
  • Support the struggle of the Venezuelan people to defend the Bolivarian revolution against attempts of sabotage and disruption to affect regime change
  • Support the Palestinian people in their struggle to end the occupation
  • Solidarity with Ecuador against right-wing coup attempts
  • The end of colonialism, for the independence of Puerto Rico from US domination, and the Malvinas from Britain
  • Support for the peace process in Colombia
  • To support the Chilean people in their struggles.

From November 22-25, 2015, the biennial conference has been organised in Guantánamo with the theme “Against Foreign Military Bases and For Peace”. One hundred and sixty delegates representing 22 countries attended the conference in 2013. The slogan then was “Guantánamo, more than just a military base”. For many people outside of Cuba, Guantánamo is known only as a base, as propagated by the mass media, but it is much more than that. It is a city and a province.

* December 17, 2014 is the date that President Raul Castro and President Obama announced that the two nations were going to establish diplomatic relations.

Next article – Confederate flag, like the swastika, has no place in our future

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