At the United Nations this week, the world community has overwhelmingly spoken out against the relentless U.S. embargo on Cuba. Yet President Biden remains unmoved, stubbornly clinging to the anachronic policies that are deliberately and systematically causing harm to the well-being of more than 11 million Cubans. Despite the world’s condemnation of the blockade every year since 1992, the U.S. government continues to act in complete isolation from the international community.
In this solitary corner, the United States was joined only by Israel, a country that relies on the United States for billions of dollars, money that is now set to increase by an additional $14.5 billion to intensify the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people.
But President Biden is not only turning a deaf ear to the international community, he is also ignoring the democratic voice of his own people. Over a hundred resolutions condemning the blockade have been passed across the U.S., representing about 55 million Americans calling for an end to the inhumane unilateral siege on Cuba that has persisted for over 60 years.
The U.S. embargo has a negative impact on all sectors of Cuba’s economy and has unquestionably worsened the quality of life of Cubans by limiting their access to basic necessities, including medicines, food, and fuel. According to the Cuban government, from March 2022 to February 2023, the blockade caused an estimated $4.8 billion in losses to Cuba, representing more than $555,000 for each hour of the blockade. The inclusion of Cuba in the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism on January 12, 2021 exacerbates the impact of the economic embargo. This has led to an massive increase in the number of Cubans migrating to the United States in search of economic opportunities.
The embargo is unjust and hinders Cuba’s inalienable right to development. It is also illegal and violates the United Nations charter and the principles of international law. The embargo’s extraterritorial provisions have not only prevented humanitarian aid from reaching Cuba through third-party countries, but have also prevented foreign companies from doing legitimate and lawful business in Cuba.
While Cuba prioritizes healthcare and solidarity, the U.S. persists in causing harm and inflicting pain on the Cuban people in its failed, 60-year-old effort at regime change. We, at CODEPINK, will not stand idly by. We pledge to continue advocating for justice and tirelessly demanding that our government change its hostile policy towards Cuba by lifting the economic, commercial and financial embargo. We will persist in our call for the immediate removal of Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism—a designation that should never have been imposed in the first place.
U.S. policymakers must abandon their outdated Cold War mentality towards Cuba, and instead listen to the world and start being a good neighbor.