A Day of action against the US blockade on Cuba has been held in several countries, with supporters of the Latin American nation determined that the imperialistic counter-revolutionary blockade and sanctions must end now.
According to the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, the blockade is the main obstacle to the development of the nation; with the economic damage costing the island more than 1.3 billion dollars over the six decades the hostile policy has been in place.
The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) said that last Sunday an international day of action was held to demand the ‘end of the economic and genocidal blockade imposed by the United States (US) on the Caribbean country’.
According to the ministry, in several US cities the population joined in a new caravan to establish a ‘Puentes de Amor’ (bridge of love) between the two countries.
Protesters demanded that President Joe Biden ends all coercive measures against Cuba, which negatively affects the welfare of families.
In Miami, the coordinator of the Puentes de Amor solidarity project, Carlos Lazo, pointed out that this is the 23rd consecutive monthly caravan held in the city to show support for the people of the island and to demand an end to the illegal blockade.
Lazo pointed out that, although the regulations announced on May 16 by the Biden US presidency enhance the resumption of the family reunification programme, the lifting of limits on remittances and the easing of travel restrictions for US citizens, there is still no action to mitigate the impact of the economic blockade on Cuba.
However, from countries such as Panama, Denmark, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Bahamas, Brazil, Uruguay, Belize, Argentina, Spain, Canada and other regions, messages in favour of the normalisation of ties between Washington and Havana were received.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel expressed his gratitude to all the friends of the Caribbean nation who showed their solidarity and demanded the end of the blockade from all over the world.
At the same time, the population in several regions in Cuba joined the initiatives in favour of the lifting of the financial blockade imposed against the nation.
There was a big march with banners and posters in the city of Matanzas in support of the establishment of bridges of love, peace, solidarity, and brotherhood between neighbouring nations.
- Regional integration is an imperative, the Cuban President warned at the XXI Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP), which opened last Friday in Havana, Cuba.
‘Now, as never before, it is imperative to unite wills to build consensus and make progress in regional integration and political coordination,’ Díaz-Canel told the heads of state, government and representatives of the ALBA-TCP member countries in a speech opening the summit.
Stressing the importance of achieving a Latin America with an independent voice that coordinates its development strategies and the defence of sovereignty, the Cuban president said that ‘fragmented, they could ignore each one of our representatives, but united, no one will be able to silence us.’
In relation to the great challenge posed to the entire world by the Covid-19 pandemic, Díaz-Canel recognised the achievement of Cuban biotechnology with the production of anti-Covid-19 vaccines.
The president ratified Cuba’s willingness to put its scientific capabilities and achievements at the service of the member countries of the Alliance.
In his speech, Díaz-Canel also condemned the US decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the upcoming IX Summit of the Americas.
While professing to promote democracy, Washington cannot guarantee a plural space, he warned.
‘They pretend to be interested in a constructive relationship with our region, but they do not respect differences,’ the Cuban leader said.
‘The practice of excluding is not new and confirms the interest of the US to control the Inter-American system in order to use it for hegemonic objectives and impose the power to control democracy.
‘Neither politically nor morally do they have that right,’ he said.
The president acknowledged the strong opposition of several Latin American and Caribbean governments to an exclusive summit. ‘Our America has changed; exclusions are no longer possible.’
Diaz-Canel also stressed that the decision not to invite everyone is an historic setback, and all countries must be ‘invited on equal terms.’
ALBA-TCP, founded in 2004 by the late Presidents Fidel Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, is a regional organisation focused on the fight against poverty and social exclusion based on solidarity and cooperation among its members.
Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis make up the integration alliance.
- The Colombian presidential candidate for the coalition Pacto Histórico, Gustavo Petro, on Sunday made a call to the people to bet on a change, as he won through to the second round of elections on June 19.
Petro convincingly won the first round with 40,32% vs. right-wing populist candidate Rodolfo Hernandez with 28,15% with 99.96% of the vote counted.
The election now moves on to a runoff between the two leading candidates on June 19.
‘What is being disputed today is change … I ask Colombia to make a constructive change of much more capacity’, he said in his speech after Sunday’s election day.
He also took the opportunity to point out the irony that his rival in the second round, Rodolfo Hérnandez of the League of Anticorruption Rulers (centre-right), himself faces allegations of corruption.
‘My opponent is imputed for corruption. It is not a process of lies … they are real indications,’ he said from his campaign headquarters in the Tequendama Hotel in Bogota.
Petro also took the opportunity to highlight the role of women in his campaign and especially his running mate, Francia Márquez.
Petro and Hernandez will meet again at the polls in the second round on June 19, where the successor to current president Iván Duque will be elected.
The presidential candidate of the coalition Team for Colombia (far-right), Federico Gutiérrez, announced on Sunday that he and his vice-presidential running mate, Rodrigo Lara, will vote in the runoff for Rodolfo Hérnandez, of the League of Anti-Corruption Rulers (populist-right).
‘I want to express publicly that we do not want to lose the country and that is why Rodrigo and I will vote for Rodolfo next June 19’, said the former Medellín mayor, who has been a fierce opponent of left-wing candidate Petro.
Gútierrez said that he will not seek to be part of an eventual government under Hernández.
‘Neither Rodrigo nor I will be part of the government of Rodolfo Hernandez … looking between the two options, the engineer’s is the most sensible,’ he said.