Cuba: International Solidarity Meeting Held with Broad Rejection of the U.S. Blockade and Support for the Palestinian Struggle

By Laura Mor on May 2, 2024, from Havana

Foto: Victor Villalba Gutiérrez

Dedicated to the centenary passing of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Revolution and to the legacy of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, 1144 delegates from 58 countries gathered today at the International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba and against Imperialism, held at the Havana Convention Palace.

In the framework of the 85th anniversary of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba and the 65th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, participants and members of more than 220 solidarity, political and trade union organizations discussed the challenges of solidarity, social and popular organizations in the midst of the neoliberal advance, the urgent need for unity and the struggles of workers in this context.

Ulises Guilarte  General Secretary of the CTC. photo: Victor Villalba Gutiérrez

Ulises Guilarte, General Secretary of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC) opened the day and warned about the enormous impacts of the cyclical and multidimensional crisis of the current capitalist system and its reflection in the increase of military spending on a global scale, to the detriment of the energy, climate and food crisis that this itself generates.

The leader of the Cuban trade unions emphasized that “the Cuban Revolution together with its heroic people will continue defending without rest and with equal firmness and determination peace, social justice, Latin American and Caribbean integration”, in spite of “the genocidal blockades and the imperial pretension of undermining the identity of our peoples”.

The blockade of Cuba, main obstacle to growth

Carlos Fernández de Cossío, Vice Minister of MINREX, photo: Bill Hackwell

Carlos Fernández de Cossío, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, also referred to this, with a detailed account of the afflictions suffered by Cuba as a consequence of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States in 1962.

“It is the economic blockade that is the defining element of the conduct of the United States against our country, and it is the fundamental obstacle to the stability and development of our economy,” he said.

“Sometimes it is even asked why we speak of an economic blockade and not a simple economic embargo. We commonly refer to embargo when a country decides to take measures against another country in commercial matters, prohibiting the import of a product from that other country or prohibiting the export of a product to that country. One can even speak of an embargo when one prohibits bilateral trade with that country. But what the United States practices against Cuba is something much more comprehensive, aimed absolutely at suffocating the Cuban economy”, he explained.

Fernández de Cossío went on to explain that “what prevails is the conduct of imperialism against the sovereign rights of the Cuban people, and that explains the billions of dollars it has spent throughout the history of the Revolution to discredit Cuba and discredit our revolutionary process”. Proof of this are “the tens of millions that it dedicates every year to political subversion, to trying to fabricate an opposition, which it even openly acknowledges, to generating dissent artificially and from abroad, to creating irritation in the population, to generating confusion and to mistreating the Cuban people ideologically”, he denounced.

The breadth of diplomatic relations with all countries has been a defining characteristic of Cuba in these 65 years of Revolution, with the exception of the State of Israel with which relations were broken off in September 1973 in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Even when there are political and ideological differences with different countries, Cuba maintains good relations and collaboration in many cases. The exception is the United States, a country with which Cuba maintains diplomatic relations but which, nevertheless, “resists having a respectful and constructive relationship,” Cossío continued, as he gave an account of the attempts to make the island “a colonial possession.”

“The U.S. government has differences with our political system, with our socialist economic system, with the fact that Cubans are the true owners of our wealth, they are not transnational corporations, we do not depend on what the International Monetary Fund dictates; and of course it has differences with our solidarity, independent and internationalist foreign policy.”

Fernando Gonzalez Llort, President of ICAP, photo: Victor Villalba Gutiérrez

“With perversity and vileness, the United States accentuates the economic, commercial and financial blockade, keeps Cuba on a spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism and illegally occupies a portion of our territory with a military base in the province of Guantanamo,” explained Fernando Gonzalez Llort, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and Hero of his country as one of the Cuban 5 who spent long years in US prisons.

Llort underscored the expressions of solidarity that the Cuban people receive on a daily basis, in a movement that extends to more than 150 countries and brings together more than 1,650 organizations around the world.

“It is essential to increase the denunciations, both physically and in social networks, a battlefield from where Cuba is attacked daily in a merciless and insolent way,” he insisted.

commission on solidarity of the peoples.
photo: Yaimi Ravelo

The Meeting continued with the work in commissions where topics such as trade unionism and workers’ struggles in the current context; unity in diversity for the just causes and solidarity of the peoples; and the struggles in defense of peace and sovereignty of the peoples were also discussed.

The axes of the exchange in the different workshops were the dynamic character of international solidarity, the Palestinian cause and the condemnation of the genocide committed by the Zionist regime in the Gaza Strip and world peace. They also agreed on working tools to continue the struggle against the blockade, especially the results of the Court that met in the European Parliament.

see video of the intervention of Graciela Ramirez, leader of the International Committee Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity in the Commission on the solidarity of the peoples.

Source: Cuba en Resumen