The text, published in the website Common Dreams, narrates the experience of two young Americans who visited Cuba to participate in the celebrations on International Workers’ Day on May 1, and relates, first hand, the damages caused by the blockade maintained by successive administrations in Washington.
As members of the youth cohort of the Codepink organization, Eli Smith and Kaitlin Blanchard noted that our objective was to understand the Cuban political system, the US blockade and its impact on daily life.
They evoked in their article how in 1960, after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, a memorandum from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs recommended making the Cuban people suffer.
On that occasion, they pointed out, the official said that if the United States wanted to counter the rise of communism in its backyard, it would have to deny “money and supplies, decrease monetary and real wages, to provoke hunger, despair, and an overthrow of the government.”
A blockade was then imposed that still restricts necessary items from entering Cuba and prevents other countries from selling them to the island, they remarked in the text, entitled “The US Economic Blockade of Cuba Is Worse Than You Think”.
They added that the Biden Administration keeps Cuba on a state sponsor of terrorism list, further restricting economic development.
“The goal of these policies is explicit in the 1960 memorandum: The US is trying to starve socialism out of Cuba. The purpose of the US policy towards Cuba is to create misery, and it’s proudly displayed on the State Department website,” they concluded.
The young Americans also described their tour of poor neighborhoods in transformation, where they witnessed how residents are developing their own communities to have better access to health care, food and other services.
“Cubans on the island are charting their own course outside US hegemony, but it is clear that US policy is an effort to deny them that right,” they added.
They concluded that all 150 young people from the United States and Canada who visited the island in late April 2023, returned to the US with a deeply held commitment to end our country’s blockade on the Cuban people.