By Leni Reeves
It is hard to forgive someone after they have done evil things to us.
In 2014 and 2015, the U.S. government resumed diplomatic relations with Cuba, took Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism (truly a ridiculous concept) and put the travel ban on the honor system. The blockade remained in place; indeed, the financial blockade was prosecuted vigorously. Now the current regime has announced plans to reverse even the minimal progress that we’ve made.
Cuba will survive, regardless. The country has proved it already, going hungry to feed its kids in the worst years of the blockade in the early 1990s. It will continue to have inadequate infrastructure, poor industrial and agricultural development, and no real chance to develop solar power, which would be such a great fit for the island’s needs—these things take financing.
People will continue to suffer from the effects of this. It won’t be suffering at the level of war-torn or exploitation-ravaged countries—Cuba has a genuine social safety net—but it will be the worst possible suffering that we as a country can manage to inflict in this circumstance. We know it is wrong.
Now our government, which is in the hands of vicious people who believe in causing suffering, plans to try to make things worse. Cuba will resist. Cubans learned resistance and rebellion as enslaved people, as colonized people, as people who fought for their freedom and independence for hundreds of years. They will keep struggling. And we—will we continue to struggle to prevent out government’s evil actions?
- Call the White House to protest this action.
- Call your senators, Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and ask them to co-sponsor the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act (S1286), which would lift the current embargo, allow more U.S. goods to be exported to Cuba and eliminate the legal barriers to Americans doing business in Cuba, and the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (S1287), which removes all current travel restrictions to Cuba, including transaction restrictions.
- Call your Congressional representative (Jim Costa, Devin Nunes, David Valadao or Tom McClintock) and ask them to support the ag export bill to Cuba (HR525) and the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (HR351).
- Support organizations that work for peace and justice in the world: Pastors for Peace (https://ifconews.org); the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity (http://theinternationalcommittee.org); the National Network on Cuba (http://www.nnoc.info); and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF; https://wilpf.org).
Leni Villagomez Reeves is a local physician and activist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.