From Cuban Newspaper ‘Trabajadores’ (translated from original Spanish) Posted on June 9, 2023 ByYimel Diaz Malmierca
The Machinists union IAM Local 1484, based in Wilmington, California, United States, passed a resolution in which it “strongly urges” President (Joe) Biden, Congress, and each representative, to ask the government of their jurisdiction, and to the federal government, to remove Cuba from the United States’ list of sponsors of terrorism.
Photo: Prensa Latina
They also demand that California’s representation before Congress “approve legislation that eliminates those aspects of the embargo that have been codified in law”; suspend all sanctions against Cuba by the United States; and allow the peoples of the United States and Cuba to travel and trade freely with each other.”
The document recognizes in its preamble that “President Biden has the authority to remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism by means of an executive order and to recommit to the normalization of relations initiated by the Obama-Biden administration.”
The union resolution affirms that during the last 62 years the United States has imposed an economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba that prevents trade and punishes other countries that are related to Cuba. Such a procedure causes “daily hardships and privations for the Cuban people, creates food and medicine shortages, and severely restricts international financial and commercial opportunities,” the document acknowledges.
Such sanctions prevent “Cuba from obtaining vital medical equipment and supplies” and limit “humanitarian aid responses to catastrophic events such as Hurricane Ian that devastated both Florida and Cuba, thus harming the Cuban people whom the Biden administration claims to support.” ”.
The machinists recalled that, according to data released by the United Nations, the blockade had cost the Cuban economy 130 billion dollars up to 2017, at an average of more than 2 billion dollars each year.
The United Nations General Assembly, for its part, has condemned US policy 30 times. The most recent vote took place on November 3, 2022, and only the United States and Israel opposed the resolution presented by Cuba: The need to end the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.
During the Donald Trump administration, an additional 243 sanctions were imposed on Cuba, including restrictions on Cuban-Americans sending remittances to families and businesses in Cuba. This strategy contributes to a massive migration of Cubans, creating border security concerns in the US, the resolution refers to.
Trump arbitrarily reinstated the designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism less than a week after his coup attempt on January 6, 2019, the text recalls. With that action, he reversed the Obama-Biden administration’s 2015 decision to remove this status after a thorough review by the US State Department.
“Cuba does not meet any criteria to be included in this list,” the US carriers state. Despite this, they have been “subjected to further international financial sanctions and restrictions that limit the nation’s ability to conduct critical financial transactions, including those necessary to advance efforts to combat the COVID pandemic and improve its economy.”
The resolution recalled that 117 members of the United States Congress requested the removal of Cuba from the list in 2021 and recognized that “a policy of commitment to Cuba serves the interests of the United States and the Cuban people.”
The IAM Local 1484 union has just joined the LA Hands Off Cuba Committee, which also has among its purposes to remove the largest of the Antilles from the spurious list, as well as to end the blockade and all economic, commercial and travel sanctions on that nation.
“We organize educational and legal trips to Cuba so that US residents can see the island for themselves,” they say. They also promote the projection of audiovisuals on the Cuban reality, and promote demonstrations, caravans (also in support of Bridges of Love), and meetings with Cubans and Americans who have recently been to Cuba.
“Our meetings are all open and democratic, assures the LA Hands Off Cuba Committee. All our activities are legal, including trips to Cuba (…) since they seek to involve the maximum number of groups, unions and individuals to help end the blockade”.
Since June 6, 2023, the IAM Local 1484 union is one of the “proud” institutions that sponsors the work of the LA Hands Off Cuba Committee and participates in Global Health Partners, a charitable organization that obtained a business license to ship medical supplies to Cuba.