Successful European Days of Action against the US blockade of Cuba

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Inspired by the Days of Action Against the Blockade in Washington DC organized by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, Cubanismo, a solidarity organization with Cuba based in Belgian, organized the Days of Action Against the Blockade in the European Parliament.

On November 29 and 30,, a Belgian solidarity organization, organized - in cooperation with representatives of the European solidarity movements with Cuba and with the GUE/NGL faction in the European Parliament in Brussels - two European Action Days against the U.S. blockade against Cuba. This was the first pan-European common action of its kind.

Twenty-five representatives from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and Sweden  met with members of the European Parliament. The representatives exposed the consequences of the blockade for Cuba and also for Europe, due to the illegal extraterritorial application of the US blockade laws.

They denounced the fact that several European banks refused to transfer money urgently needed for the damage of hurricane Irma, and even within Europe they blocked money transfers to solidarity organizations and in some instances even closed down bank accounts.

The representatives have asked the members of parliament to push for Europe to oppose the blockade not only in words but also in action. In fact, the European laws say that Member States should sanction companies or persons that apply the blockade laws in Europe.

The U.S. threatens European entities with big fines - and banks and companies already have payed many millions of dollars to the US treasury in past years - but the European institutions barely react to these illegal extraterritorial sanctions. This proves that the US-blockade against Cuba is not only a threat to Cuban sovereignty, but also to the sovereignty of the EU and its member states.

These facts are nearly unknown to the public and these lobby days were aimed at raising awareness about it to European politicians and public.

The representatives met with the following members of the European Parliament:

  • Bart Staes (Belgium)
  • Kathleen Van Brempt (Belgium)
  • Hilde Vautmans (Belgium)
  • Malin Björk (Sweden)
  • Bodil Valero (Sweden)
  • Luke Ming Flanagan (Ireland)
  • Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson, Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ni Riada (Ireland)
  • Joachim Schuster (Germany)
  • Sabine Lösing (Germany)
  • Helmut Scholz (Germany)
  • Joëlle Bergeron (France)
  • Marie-Pierre Vieu (France)

Several members of parliament made suggestions for further action, like sending letters, co-signed by several members of parliament to Federica Mogherini and Moscovici, file a petition to the European Parliament in order to defend their case and to put the struggle against the blockade on the agenda, and to work even closer with all democratic forces who want to have the Cuban and the European right to sovereignty be respected.

European solidarity organizations will now expand these suggestions and turn them into appropriate action in order to get answers from the European Commission and the Parliament. We aim to inspire them to be more assertive in their reaction against the extraterritorial consequences that the U.S. imposes on European citizens, companies and institutions. The days of action  were a first step in a campaign for getting the anti-Cuba blockade on the European agenda. European solidarity organizations will continue to encourage all democratic forces  to demand an immediate end to the blockade.

GUE/NGL and also organized two conferences with international experts - amongst them Camilo Guevara, one of Che's sons -, a cultural evening and concert with Tumbao Cubano and a short public demonstration at the Luxemburgplein in front of the European Parliament concluding these two Days of Action Against the Blockade.

In the next days, reports of these two action days will be released on the websites of all participating organizations. wishes to thank them once again and particularly the members of parliament and collaborators of the GUE/NGL for their political, financial and logistical support.