On the anniversary of the failed ‘Bay of Pigs’ mercenary invasion of Cuba, activists gathered from across Europe and North America to coordinate action against the extra-territorial application of the US blockade. For nearly a year, activists have been sending small international payments across Europe with the reference ‘Cuba’, documenting and launching complaints every time these transactions trigger banks blocking mechanisms. This is proof that banks in Europe are unlawfully complying with the extra-territorial application of the US blockade on Cuba.
Co-Chair – Nina Gonzalez Cuba Support Group Ireland explained why exposing the participation of European banks in blocking transactions referencing Cuba is so important
‘There is no sector of society that the blockade does not affect. The strangulating effects of the blockade are completely deliberate, this is the purpose of the sanctions. So we need to come together, and 1 cent 4 Cuba gives us that opportunity, it is such an important campaign as it proves beyond doubt that the US sanctions on Cuba constitute an illegal global blockade and are not just a bilateral trade embargo. If the US sanctions just operated within the US and were not extra-territorial, Cuba would manage.’
We were joined by Professor Hassan Pérez Casabona, Historian at the Centre of Hemispheric and United States studies at the University of Havana who spoke passionately about Cuba’s long struggle against imperialist aggression and the importance of international solidarity.
‘President Trump re-included us on the spurious list of states that sponsor terrorism, a week before leaving the Oval office, a barbarity, something monstrous. There is not a single argument worldwide to condemn Cuba as a terrorist country…Recently, President Biden has kept us on that list and that has dire consequences for the Cuban economy. More than 50 major banking institutions since Trump’s first announcement in January 2021 immediately terminated their financial relationships with Cuban counterparts. Imagine what this means in today’s world, for a state to appear on a list of countries that sponsor terrorism and to be evaluated by the nation that has the most weight in international relations? The US is only 4% of the global population but it is 22% of the global economy and accounts for 40% of the world’s military spending…data for the last 14 months shows losses of more than 6 billion dollars, our country loses around 15 million dollars a day. In the midst of these circumstances, Cuba does not submit, it will never submit’
We also heard from Dagma Garcia scientist from the Finlay Institute who led the team developing Cuba’s renowned Soberana Covid 19 vaccine who shared videos about the impact of the blockade on Cuba’s vaccine programmes.. Finally, activists presented the initiative of the 1 cent 4 Cuba campaign, a new network coordinating between solidarity groups across Europe and Canada which aims to expose the European banks which are unlawfully complying with the US blockade, defying EU and British legislation protecting against extra-territorial application of US sanctions.
Break out rooms in several languages facilitated a discussion between solidarity groups to discuss combining consumer rights as banking customers with street protests and publicity stunts. With actions upcoming for April’s Puentes de Amor caravana and 1 May international worker’s day – we left the meeting resolving to multiply the number of complaints against the banks whilst redoubling our efforts on the streets demanding an end to the blockade of Cuba
As Co-Chair – Azza Rojbi – Vancouver communities in solidarity with Cuba reminded us ‘April 16 is Playa Giron day, its a day that means defending Cuba, its a day that means standing up against US terrorism against Cuba, standing up against US hostilities against Cuba. So it’s very important that we are marking this today, because the blockade is another attack, it is part of the hostilities of the US against Cuba’
As Hassan Perez expressed ‘Every event condemning the blockade serves as our fuel, serves to oxygenate our ideas, confirming that we are on the right path and that we are not walking alone…The blockade is illegal, it is illegitimate, it must fall!’
Viva Cuba socialista! Abajo el bloqueo!
Watch the video of the meeting here
Next organising meeting 7 May 7pm (UTC+1) email us for more information – [email protected]