Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo. This cruel and inhumane policy, instituted with the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans’ right to choose their own government, is at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis. Since 1962, the United States has forced pain and suffering on the people of Cuba by cutting off food, medicine and supplies, costing the tiny island nation an estimated $130 billion.
Without that money, it is harder for Cuba to acquire medical equipment needed to develop its own COVID-19 vaccines and equipment for food production. This comes in spite of the country’s strong medical care and history of lending doctors and nurses to disasters around the world.
The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination. United States leaders have tried to crush this Revolution for decades. Instead of international amity, respect, and goodwill, the U.S. government has only instigated suffering for the country’s 11 million people – of which 4 million are Black and Brown.
Cuba has historically demonstrated solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent, from protecting Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur through granting her asylum, to supporting Black liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and South Africa.
Now, we look to President Biden to end the embargo, something Barack Obama called for in 2016. This embargo is a blatant human rights violation and it must come to an end.
(July 14, 2021)