Activist Carlos Lazo, coordinator of the initiative, told Prensa Latina that Cuban-Americans and Americans joined in a sit-in in Miami to remember the moment in which 60 years ago Democratic President John F. Kennedy made official this unilateral siege of the Caribbean nation.
To the cry of ¡Cuba yes, blockade no!, the participants in the event ratified, as Lazo said, that “we are fighting for the Cuban people because we owe it to them.”
Bridges of Love is one of the most active groups in the broad movement to lift this hostile policy that has survived 11 White House administrations, both Democratic and Republican.
In December, Professor Lazo traveled to Italy to complete a pilgrimage that ended in the Vatican from where they asked to end all the coercive measures that cause sufferings to the Cuban family.
Members of the solidarity project also carried out a walk of over two thousand kilometers in July oflast year -the distance that separates Miami from Washington, DC- at the end of which they gathered in front of the executive mansion to demand that President Joe Biden comply with his campaign promises in 2020.
The Democrat affirmed that if he became president of the United States, he would reverse the “sanctions of Trump”, who throughout his term (2017-2021) applied 243 provisions that intensified the blockade against Cuba, more than 50 of them adopted in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, over a year after taking office, Biden has not rectified his policy towards Cuba which, for the members of Puentes de Amor, would mean returning to the path of normalizing relations begun in the last stage of his government by Barack Obama (2009-2017).
On February 3, 1962 Kennedy gave legal approval through Executive Order 3447 to the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba based on the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, enacted against the former German empire and its previous allies, upon the entry of the United States into World War I.
The measure was suggested years before by Lester D. Mallory, then Deputy Secretary of State during the Dwight Eisenhower administration (1953-1961).
On April 6, 1960, the official wrote a secret memorandum advising Cuba to be deprived of “money and supplies, to reduce its financial resources and real wages, cause hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the Government,” a line that remains unchanged six decades later.
Interestingly, another Democrat, William Clinton, signed on March 12, 1996, Public Law No. 104-114, “Cuban Democratic Liberty and Solidarity Act (Liberty Act),” known as Helms-Burton, which codified the blockade and strengthened its extraterritorial reach.