In 1962, the United States imposed an illegal blockade on Cuba, which remains the longest and most severe in human history. The Cuban people and government have been calling for an end to the devastating blockade ever since. The US targeted Cuba after the revolution overthrew Batista, with the new leaders committing to communism and seizing US businesses and property for the benefit of the Cuban people.
Despite relentless military, economic, and diplomatic efforts, the US has failed to defeat Cuba since the start of the revolution. The Bay of Pigs invasion, aimed at overthrowing Castro, was a catastrophe for the US, and the Cuban people remained steadfast in their commitment to the revolution.
Minutes before signing Proclamation 3447, which banned all trade with Cuba, Kennedy ensured he had stashed up to 1,600 of the finest Cuban cigars in a humidor in the White House’s executive residence. This action demonstrated the hypocrisy of the US government’s policy towards Cuba.
The illegal blockade aimed to isolate “the present government of Cuba and thereby reduce the threat posed by its rapprochement with the communist powers.” The blockade not only prevents trade between Cuba and the US, but also makes it impossible for Cuba to have normal relations with other countries. The US Treasury Department prosecutes and penalizes companies worldwide that trade with Cuba, which severely restricts the Cuban economy.
They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?Fidel Castro
The blockade on humanitarian aid has devastating effects on the Cuban people, especially the most vulnerable. Cuba’s UN Ambassador, Pedro Cuesta, called the blockade “the single most important obstacle to the development of Cuba.” Cubans face shortages of many basic items including fertilizers, basic medications like painkillers, baby formula, and cancer treatments.
While there are no conclusive figures on the number of deaths caused by the blockade, some studies estimate tens of thousands of deaths. The blockade also prevents Cuban scientists from accessing important medical research and equipment, which can lead to a shortage of vital medical treatments.
For 30 consecutive years, the vast majority of the world has voted at the UN General Assembly against maintaining the blockade. In 2022, 185 countries voted to condemn the blockade, leaving only the US and Israel to vote for the blockade. In spite of this overwhelming international condemnation, the US continues to maintain the blockade.
Despite the US waging over 50 years of economic war to sabotage Cuba’s revolution, Cuba boasts a higher average life expectancy, literacy rate, and lower infant mortality rate than the United States, according to recent data from the World Bank. This data shows that the Cuban people have been able to make remarkable achievements in the face of the blockade and other obstacles created by the US.