Miami Cubans Reject Trump's Hostility Toward Island
By Staff Writers, teleSUR
Monday, Jun 19, 2017
|Billboard against U.S. blockade of Cuba. | Photo: Reuters|
Cubans in Miami rejected President Donald Trump's declaration of new policies that will roll back efforts to normalize relations with the Caribbean nation, which has faced a U.S. blockade for over 55 years.
The Alianza Martiana, a coalition of several immigrant organizations in Miami, Florida, consists of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the Jose Marti Association, the Cuban Community Workers' Alliance, the Alianza Martiana — as an individual organization, and the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, as well as the Bolivarian Circle of Miami and the Circle of Intellectuals and Ibero-American Artists.
Referring to Trump's declaration, Andres Gomez, national coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, questioned the reasons that prompted Trump to make "such a far-fetched decision," Prensa Latina reported.
Gomez refuted the mainstream media narrative that the decision was motivated to please the Cuban community in Florida, mainly Miami and to continue to obtain the support of the Cuban immigrant community in the area.
He emphasized that this was a lie, given that 50 percent of Cubans in Florida voted against Trump.
He recalled that more than eight years ago, counting three elections, Cuban immigrants have not overwhelmingly supported the presidential candidate who backed a policy of war and blockade against the people of Cuba.
According to Gomez, "The reasons that led to Trump's decision in favor of this unlikely policy against Cuba could be found in his political infantilism and growing despair at trying to keep his wrecking presidency afloat."
Gomez reiterated the commitment of Cubans and non-Cubans, respecting the people's decision to maintain their sovereignty, to continue to fight against such violations of the fundamental rights to live and develop in peace.
Addressing Florida's Republican officials in Miami's Little Havana, Trump unabashedly declared Friday his political intentions on Cuba as he signed the Presidential Memorandum of National Security on Strengthening U.S. Policy Towards Cuba.
The new U.S. policies that restrict travel and trade with Cuba will reverse some of the changes former President Barack Obama put in place.
Under the changes, Washington will tighten rules on individual U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. Travelers going there for non-academic educational purposes will again be required to visit with organized tour groups run by U.S. companies, while self-directed, individual travel will be prohibited.
Granma called Trump's declarations, "a return to imperialist rhetoric and unilateral demands."
In his address Friday, Trump called the policies towards Cuba, "a completely one-sided deal with Cuba." The new restrictions also prohibit most financial dealings between U.S. firms and Cuba's Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group, the holding company of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, including companies in sectors such as tourism, food, and energy, among others.
Despite the changes, the U.S. will maintain diplomatic relations with the Cuban government, maintaining its embassy on the island's capital. Trump also demanded the return of Assata Shakur, who fled to the island in 1984. Shakur was a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, organizations which fought for the emancipation of Black people living in the United States.
“Return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop killer Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur),” Trump declared. “To the Castro regime, I repeat, the harboring of criminals and fugitives will end. You have no choice. It will end."
Rejecting the "political manipulation and double standards in human rights," the government of Cuba said in an official statement Friday, "The Cuban people enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms and can proudly show some achievements that are still a chimera for many countries of the world, including the United States, such as the right to health, education and social security; equal pay for equal work, children’s rights as well as the rights to food, peace and development."
The statement also condoned the "coercive methods" the U.S. government has employed favoring the blockade since 1962, that "not only causes harm and deprivations to the Cuban people and is the main obstacle to our economic development but also affects the sovereignty and interests of other countries, which arouses international rejection."
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