Bookmark and Share Home   »  WFP In Your Area  »  Southwest

Cuba No Esta Sola! Exposing the Economic and Media War Against Cuba


Cuba No Esta Sola! Exposing the Economic and Media War Against Cuba

"If President Obama does not dismantle this savage blockade of the Cuban people, then it is all a lie, it will all be a great farce and the U.S. empire will be alive and well, threatening us." -May 2009 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at Summit with U.S. President Obama.


In July of this year, Raza Press and Media Association correspondent, Francisco "El Chavo" Romero, traveled to Cuba with over 35 educators from the U.S. with Witness for Peace(www.witnessforpeace.org), an organization that for 25 years has worked to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by exposing U.S. policies and corporate practices which contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The key focus of the delegation was to provide an opportunity for first-hand experience, discussion, and dialogue with the Cuban community about the impacts of the Imperialist Blockade against Cuba, known as "El Bloqueo". The United States Embargo was imposed nearly fifty years ago in the early 1960's, along with the CIA led attempted invasion at the Bay of Pigs during the John F. Kennedy administration, the 1962 forcing out of Cuba from the Organizations of American States, followed by the 1963 with the Trading with the Enemy Act. All of these economic, military, and political measures were led by the United States in an effort to isolate and attempt to dismantle the immediate gains made by the Cuban Revolution after its triumph in 1959. The Helms-Burton Act of 1996 along with the Clinton's Democratic Party modification penalizing foreign U.S. company subsidiaries of trading with Cuba has dealt critical blows to the Cuban economy, as well as impacting Cuban families' at multiple levels, from education, to health care and housing.
The delegation arrived into Havana on July 19th and for a week and half the educators visited historical sites in the capitol, as well as meeting with the leadership of the Ministry of Education, Cuban Teachers Association, cultural workers, community organizers, clergy, students, and farmworkers.
One of the first political billboards that one sees coming in from the Havana Airport into downtown Havana states,  "Every 8 hours of the Embargo is equivalent to materials needed to supply 40 Circulos Infantiles" (Infant Circles are state-run shelters for children in need). When delegates visited one of the dozens of these centers, the sub-coordinator and workers informed that, "Before the Revolution, you would see children on the streets, some sick, others homeless, but now, our system prioritizes education and healthcare, especially for children. We will never go back to those days, because now, as you can see, there are about a dozen of us here at this center making sure that these 7 children are sheltered, fed, and educated." Unlike the United States, where there are estimates indicating that there are up to 3 million people that find themselves homeless every year, Cuba ensures that everyone has nutrition and shelter.
Also, as part of the visit, delegates spent two days in the tobacco-growing farming region of Piñar del Rio. The RPMA interviewed, Humberto, a life-long farmer, that explained how the Cuban Revolution made it a priority to distribute land to campesinos, through the Reforma Agraria, where the state limited land holdings to 1,000 acres, anything beyond was acquired by the government which in turn gave either 67 acre parcels to workers, cooperatives, or the state. Humberto's sons, also campesinos, shared that they went to the university in Havana, for free, and have now returned as Agricultural Engineers and planners. The local representative of the community, is a fisherman, not a politician with thousands of dollars to run for office.
The eldest son of the local pastor informed the delegation that the grassroots democracy of Cuba, ensures that municipalities across the island elect representatives to serve on the National Assembly of People's Power through direct participatory democracy. The voter turnout rate for the various elections that occur in Cuba hovers around from 80% to 97%. The U.S. Capitalist media portrays Cuba as a dictatorship, where there is no democracy. If the measure of "democracy" is measured by the right to vote and elections, then, compared to the 68% voter turn out in 2008 in the United States, Cuba is more democratic. Unlike the U.S.-style "democracy" where thousands, if not millions of dollars (Obama and McCain raised over $5 billion dollars total for their campaigns, raising a million dollars a day at one point, just to stay in the race.), Cuba's candidates do not raise funds, market their campaigns, billboards, ads on television, etc., they simply get elected through local townhall-style presentations and a biography that is listed at the polling areas and in and around the community.
It was clear that unlike the alleged "repression" of freedom of speech that is touted in the U.S. Capitalist media, the Cuban community is free to express itself. Delegates spoke to dozens upon dozens of Cubans that stated that the number one priority is to lift all travel and trade restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba. "Estamos esperando que se levante este bloque injusto, esto nos acercara a nuestros hermanos y hermanas en sus territorios, " (We await the lifting of this unjust blockade, so that we can unite with our brothers and sisters in your territory.) stated Armando Guillen, a veteran from the Cuban Revolution of 1959.
For the past nearly 18 years in a row, the United Nations General Assembly has condemned the U.S. Blockade against Cuba. Over 170 countries have consistently voted in favor of ending the Embargo, where usually, a handful, U.S., Israel, and the Island of Palau vote to keep this "act of genocide" upon the Cuban community. Although it would not lift the entire Embargo, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act has made its way through Congress and gained the support of close to 180 Representatives in the House and 33 in the Senate. Barack Obama has loosened some of the travel restrictions for Cubans living within the U.S., this act would reform and allow the freedom for everyone to travel to Cuba to everyone. Will the Obama Administration "change" the U.S. empire's agenda to hide the "threat of a good example" Cuba has become, or will a step in the right direction be taken of overturning this oppressive attack on El Pueblo Cubano, nuestros hermanos y hermanas.
Alto al Bloque! Cuba No Esta Sola, Todo el Mundo Esta, con Cuba Socialista, Cuba Vencera!
Join our taskforce on Cuba! Contact  us!

twitter-iconFaceBook-iconblogspot_iconYoutube-icon