The Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) of Cyprus has demanded an immediate end to the 60-year-old US blockade on Cuba. In a statement on April 10, AKEL also expressed solidarity with international missions of the Cuban Medical Brigades in the fight against COVID-19.
“At precisely the same time when universal solidarity is needed, the Trump government has decided to toughen the economic, commercial and financial inhumane blockade of Cuba, which the United States has been imposing for decades. Even during this period of the pandemic, the United States has been blocking supplies of medical equipment, respirators and diagnostic test kits from reaching Cuba, while simultaneously launching a campaign to slander and defame Cuba and its doctors in the international mass media,” AKEL said.
In November 2019, the United Nations General Assembly had passed a resolution stressing the “need to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” with 187 votes in favor, 3 against and 2 abstentions. The General Assembly has been voting against the blockade for 28 years but the US refuses to heed international sentiment.
In another statement, Neoklis Sylikiotis from AKEL said that “European solidarity” is a meaningless declaration of no practical relevance. “Even in relation to severely affected Italy with many thousands of dead victims of the virus, there was no symbolic gesture of solidarity on the part of economically powerful Germany. On the contrary, aid came from Russia, China, and Cuba”, he said.
The US imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1960 when the revolutionary government in Cuba nationalized the American-owned Cuban oil refineries. Later on, successive governments in the US tightened the embargo on Cuba through multiple statutes. Even though during his second tenure of the presidency, Barack Obama initiated some steps to re-establish relations with Cuba, current president Donald Trump has retracted those measures and called for stricter measures against Cuba.