On Cuba, the US Has Told the Whole World: ‘Go to Hell’

The US first imposed an economic embargo against Cuba on October 19, 1960, and made it largely airtight on February 7, 1962.

After virtually controlling Cuba for 62 years upon grabbing it from Spain in the 1898 war, the US simply could not accept revolutionary leader Fidel Castro would put Cuba’s economic welfare ahead of greedy US capitalists and Mafia Dons.

Now in its 63rd year, the embargo stands as a monument to US cruelty against the Cuban people. Since it’s enshrined in US law, no president can overturn it, only Congress.

Even the nearly unanimous demand of the UN that it most go cannot move the US to stop defiling basic moral values the US should honor instinctively. The vote last November 3 was the most overwhelming repudiation of the American embargo since the UN campaign began 30 years ago. Only Israel joined the US in voting No while 182 countries told the US for the 30th consecutive vote to end it. Ukraine voted to abstain along with Brazil. Ukraine likely doesn’t want to upset the $100 billion US weapons gravy train, while Brazil’s vote will be lost next vote with the election of progressive president Luiz da Silva. Brazil will then join Columbia, which switched its previous abstention to Yes last year, in making Latin America unanimous against the US embargo.

There is a glimmer of hope in Congress. A bipartisan group of 5 senators has introduced the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act. If passed, it will end the embargo now in its 63rd year of utter failure, except of course, its degradation of the Cuban people. Every American should contact their senators and congressperson to support this bill. Besides uplifting the Cuban people, ending the embargo will help straighten out America’s damaged moral compass.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.