Emergency Response to Economic and Political Crisis in Cuba

Activists hold signs in Northampton, MA, while protesting the US blockade on Cuba, June 23, 2021
From MAPA Emergency Response page, activists hold signs in Northampton at protest, on June 23, 2021.

This week’s eruption of demonstrations in Cuba clearly represent the frustration of the Cuban people who have long suffered under the economic crisis brought on by the 60-year US blockade. The President, Miguel Díaz-Canel acknowledged this in a comprehensive nationally televised address on Sunday and Monday. The latest crisis has only deepened with the strictest sanctions ever imposed by Trump two years ago and compounded by the ongoing worldwide pandemic.

Here in the United States the situation has riveted attention and the public has sought to understand the situation behind the sensationalist headlines.

President Biden’s statement that he supports the Cuban people rings hollow as he has failed to honor his campaign promise to repeal the Trump sanctions that block bank loans, prohibit imports of basic necessities, bar travel between the US and Cuba, and no longer allows US citizens to send remittances to their families in Cuba. Altogether, these measures combined with the global cessation of tourism has wrought unprecedented hardships on the population.

The Biden/Harris administration’s position stands in stark contrast to the international community’s vote taken on June 23 in the United Nations’ General Assembly (which 184 – 2 overwhelmingly called to end the blockade of Cuba).

Elected officials in dozens of municipal and state governments across this country have also joined this call to normalize relations and advance the diplomatic relations initiated under Obama.

This decades-long campaign of harassment, subversion and economic warfare perpetuated by the US Government at the behest of a small group of people has created, along with the pandemic, a powder keg of misery in Cuba.

An international emergency response has formed to repudiate the biased media accounts of the current protests and call for immediate end of the blockade and the reopening of the Embassy in Havana. We further call on President Biden to lift various laws by executive order in order to allow immediate shipment of syringes and any relief coordinated by the Cuban Government.



James Counts Early- Institute for Policy Studies Board
Merri Ansara- Founding Director • Common Ground
Yoav Elinevsky & Paki Wieland – Latin American Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts
Mark Friedman- US Hands Off Cuba Committee
Obi Egbuna- External Relations Officer •Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association; “Get Out of the Way of Cuba”
Cole Harrison – Executive Director, Massachusetts Peace Action
Marguerite Horberg- HotHouse
Alicia Jrapko- Resumen Latinoamericano/International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
Cheryl LaBash- National Network on Cuba
Sandra Levinson – Executive Director, Center for Cuban Studies
Bill Martinez- Martinez Arts Consulting
Isaac Saney-  Dalhousie University
Sarah Staggs- Venceremos Brigade

Take Action using these easy links.

• Write to President Biden and your Representative and Senators to lift the Cuba embargo: bit.ly/lift-cuba-embargo

• Petitions. Sign all and share widely:

–Latin American Working Group (LAWG) — Restore Diplomatic Ties: https://bit.ly/3v3FulX

–MoveOn —  Restore Obama Cuba Policy: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/restoration-of-obama-s-cuba-policy-by-the-biden-harris-administration

–IFCO/Pastors for Peace petition, Let Cuba Breathe:  http://bitly.ws/cT

–CodePink Petition to Biden re UN Vote on Embargo, June 23 www.codepink.org/endtheblockade

• Join the Campaign for Syringes for Cuba: bit.ly/syringes4cuba