24th June 2017
International Solidarity: May Day Havana 2017
On Friday 16 June, President Trump set back Cuba-US relations and any prospect of ending the US blockade in the near future when he announced his new policy on Cuba.
It is clear that Trump succumbed to pressure from hardline pro-blockade politicians in Florida who have been lobbying to reverse Obama’s Cuba policy for the last two years.
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By choosing to make the announcement in a Miami theatre named after a Bay of Pigs veteran, Trump will further antagonise relations between the two countries and undo much of the goodwill that US and Cuban diplomats have worked hard to build since diplomatic relations were re-established.
The announcement also flies in the face of US public opinion which according to a recent poll shows 65 per cent of citizens in support of improving relations with Cuba.
More importantly, it will be a huge disappointment to the people of Cuba who saw a glimmer of hope that the blockade may end when relations were re-established between the two countries in December 2014.
The aim of the blockade has always been to inflict economic hardship and suffering on the Cuban people to bring about a change in government and these measures are a continuation of this policy. Reducing the ability of US citizens to travel to the island and limiting the number of Cuban state companies that US businesses can work with is a blatant attempt to damage the Cuban economy and create unrest in the country with the ultimate aim of regime change.
Trump’s actions serve as a reminder to friends of Cuba that the blockade is far from over. In the forthcoming months it is critical that we maintain pressure on the United States’ government to continue on the path to normalise relations with Cuba, and ultimately to end its 55 year blockade against the island and illegal occupation of Guantánamo Bay.
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Thank you for your support
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign team