400 international personalities from the world of culture and politics have signed the letter ‘Let Cuba Live!’, Published in The New York Times, in which they ask the president of the United States, Joe Biden, to end the embargo on Cuba and the cancellation of the coercive measures of the Trump Administration on the island in terms of exports and imports.
The signatories consider the intentional blocking of remittances and Cuba’s access to financial institutions globally excessive, taking into account the need for access to the dollar for the importation of food and medicine. In addition, they point out that: “During the pandemic, the Trump administration tightened the embargo, set aside Obama’s policy of opening up, and established 243 ‘coercive measures’ that have intentionally suffocated life on the island and caused more suffering” .
Cubans took to the streets on July 11 to protest against the Government of Miguel Díaz-Canel for the precarious situation in which the country finds itself, mired in a shortage of food, medicine and capital derived from the crisis due to the Covid-19. The protests have their origin in the power cuts that have been occurring since June 21 due to the inability to supply energy to the island and due to breakdowns in the thermoelectric plants. The demonstrations have already resulted in hundreds of detainees, many of them minors.
Although one of the main factors in this crisis is the lack of tourism, a primary source of income and employment, the blockade of imports and exports by the United States for sixty years does not go unnoticed.
Among the members of the letter are, for example, personalities from the world of cinema such as Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson and Jane Fonda, the politicians Lula Da Silva and Rafael Correa, the Argentine Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, or the linguist Noam Chomsky. Spanish names also appear, such as Manu Pineda, Ignacio Ramonet or Santiago Alba Rico.
Participants close the petition saying that: “On June 23, the majority of United Nations member states voted for the United States to end the embargo. In the last 30 years this has been the predominant position in most Member States. In addition, seven United Nations special rapporteurs wrote a letter to the US government in April 2020 regarding the sanctions against Cuba. ‘In the pandemic emergency,’ they wrote, ‘the unwillingness of the United States Government to suspend sanctions may lead to an increased risk of suffering in Cuba.’