Let Cuba live! End the U.S. blockade!

The National Board of the Communist Party USA released the following statement on July 19.

Fifty-one years ago this week a small number of Cuban patriots took history into their own hands and led an uprising against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

It was July 26, 1953. The place was the Moncada Barracks in Santiago, Cuba. Most of the patriots died in the attack. Yet it was the beginning of the end for the bloody Batista dictatorship, the gangsters and corporations of U.S. imperialism. It was also the beginning of a new day in Cuba, as the sacrifice at Moncada led to the victory of the Cuban Revolution on Jan. 1, 1959.

Among those brave and selfless Cuban patriots at Moncada was a young Fidel Castro. Castro, along with many of the survivors, was thrown in prison. He was forced to represent himself in his trial. With skill and passion, Castro put the Batista dictatorship on trial and defended the Cuban people’s right to resist tyranny. “History will absolve me,” he said. And so it has.

In the decades since then, revolutionary, socialist Cuba has written a new chapter in the annals of honor, humanity and heroism. Cuban socialism liberated workers, youth, Afro-Cubans, women and farmers from the yoke of dire poverty, racism and servitude. And, in spite of all adversity, the illegal and inhuman U.S. blockade in the first place, the Revolution gave the Cuban people the highest literacy, education and health standards of all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba holds the banner of international solidarity high by sending its sons and daughters – in particular doctors and teachers – to impoverished countries around the globe.

When Cuba lost its Soviet and Eastern Bloc trading partners, many despaired of the survival of the Revolution. But the Cuban people and their revolutionary leadership, through a superhuman effort, pulled through the crisis. Cuban socialism and the high level of political consciousness of the Cuban people made this possible. This consciousness, too, we salute on this July 26.

Despite the overwhelming majority of public opinion in the U.S. wanting to end the embargo against – and normalize relations with – Cuba, a new threat faces the island. Despite the historic bipartisan vote in Congress to drop the travel ban, the Bush administration has unleashed a series of new aggressions against the Cuban people.

With utmost cruelty, the administration is imposing a whole new set of restrictions that effectively stops Cuban Americans from visiting their relatives in Cuba, sending them money and necessary items that the 45-year U.S. economic blockade has denied them. It is so profoundly vicious that the votes in Florida the administration was counting on with these new measures may evaporate. Cuban Americans, known as a solid base for Republicans, are outraged at these regulations. Keeping Cubans from seeing their family members expose the lie to Bush’s rhetoric about respecting family values.

The millions of tax dollars flowing to these new, dangerous regulations will also pay for C-130 transport planes to hug the Cuban coast while broadcasting propaganda into the island. The danger of a military provocation or open attack is very real.

Let Cuba live! Call your congresspeople to demand that they end the U.S. blockade of Cuba and the travel ban and refuse to fund these new restrictions. Union, church or community organizations can support U.S.-Cuba peace efforts by passing resolutions in favor of normalizing relations. Support the brave organizations, including Pastors for Peace and the Venceremos Brigade, that are defying the government to bring humanitarian aid to Cuba and continue people-to-people contacts.

But the biggest act of solidarity with Cuba the U.S. people can do is vote George W. Bush out of office on Nov. 2. If Bush wins it will give a green light to even greater attacks against the Cuban people. Cuba may be the next “preemptive war.” Come Election Day, all those active and concerned about Cuba should know, there is a difference on Cuba policy between the candidates. click here for Spanish text