Minneapolis, MN – On January 28, the Women Against Military Madness’ Solidarity Committee of the Americas (SCOTA) and the MN Cuba Committee held their monthly car caravan with 15 cars and 20 people to demand Cuba be taken off the U.S. terrorist list.
As people gathered, they decorated their cars with signs and Cuban flags. Signs included “Cuba sí, bloqueo no,” “Hands off Cuba” and “Cuba off the terrorist list.”
Sarah Martin, a member of SCOTA, rallied the crowd with the chant, “Cuba off the terrorist list!” Martin stressed the reason for this month’s caravan, stating, “With a stroke of the pen, Biden could remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and end the unprecedented humanitarian crisis the heroic people of Cuba are facing causing tens of thousands to migrate.”
People held banners in English and Spanish, reading “Take Cuba off the U.S. terrorist list/Llevar a Cuba de la lista de terroristas.”
Joe Callahan, a member of the MN Cuba Committee and SCOTA told the crowd, “In between trips to the Middle East, Anthony Blinken went to Mexico to demand that they stop immigrants from coming to the border. In response President Lopez Obrador said that if the U.S. ended sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela, there would be less immigrants.” Callahan added, “In Cuba they say, ‘A better world is possible.’”
David Logsdon, president of the Veterans For Peace, Chapter 27 strongly urged people to visit Cuba. He stated there are many organizations that organize trips, and it is important to go when we get a chance.
Before the caravan went on its way, the rally gave tribute to Jose Martí on his birthday. Marcy Shapiro, member of SCOTA, noted, “Today is Martí’s birthday. He is the national hero of Cuba. He was born on January 28, 1853, 171 years ago, He was a poet, writer and philosopher. He is considered a national hero because of his role in the liberation of Cuba from Spain. His goal was the promotion of liberty and political independence. His name is used as a rallying cry to Cuban revolutionaries. The words to the song Guantanamera were written by Jose Martí. It is sung everywhere and all of the time in Cuba.”
The caravan drove on to Lake Street from the parking lot of South High School, along about a three-mile stretch through a Minneapolis working-class neighborhood, and then back to South High.
People on the streets gave thumbs up, pumping fists in support and even grooving with the honking beeps coming from the cars. A few cars even joined the caravan; they turned on their hazards and honked along. A person stood out of their car’s sunroof bouncing up and down while waving their fist in the air.
This month, the caravan participants felt the excitement all around for Cuba and the importance of taking the country off the “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list.