South Africa in solidarity with Cuba

22 June 2021

Organisations in solidarity with Cuba held car caravans across different cities around the world on June 20. The goal was to demand the end of the United States blockade against Cuba on the eve of the vote of the Cuban resolution against the blockade at the United Nations on June 23.

In South Africa political organizations of the South African government alliance made up of the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the Confederation of South African Trade Unions organized a car caravan in the city of Pretoria. Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS), the Cuban Alumni Association of South Africa (CAASA), the Association of Cuban Residents in South Africa (ACRSA) and friends of Cuba participated in the motorcade.

The many protestors wore outfits with messages of solidarity with Cuba and their cars were decked out with colourful posters and flags. The car caravan ended at the United States Embassy where a document rejecting the blockade was read aloud over a speaker confirming South Africa’s solidarity and friendship with Cuba.

The United States placed an embargo on exports to Cuba 60 years ago and the United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted in favour of condemning the United States economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba - a call it has made every year since 1992.

Cuba provides free healthcare and education to its citizens and, in spite of the blockade, has trained medical students from different parts of the world. In times of need Cuba has sent medical brigades to assist countries around the world, notably with Ebola, and recently with Covid-19.

While many countries are battling with vaccinating their people against Covid-19, Cuba has developed its own vaccine, Abdala, which has proven to be 92.28% effective in the last-stage of clinical trials. The vaccine Abdala is produced by the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, in Havana and Cuba aims to vaccinate its entire population before the end of 2021.

Barack Obama’s administration attempted to normalise relations with Cuba while under Trump sanctions were toughened. Almost five months after Biden moved into the Oval Office, not one of the 240 measures adopted by Trump to toughen the inhumane embargo on Cuba have been rescinded.