Thomas Pringle TD

Cross-party Oireachtas Cuba Ireland Friendship Group calls for end to blockade

Cross-party Oireachtas Cuba Ireland Friendship Group calls for end to blockade

The cross-party Cuba Ireland Friendship Group of the Oireachtas has added their voices to the call on the US government to suspend the blockade of Cuba to ease the economic and health crisis the country is experiencing.

The Oireachtas group also supports the Cuba Solidarity Campaign appeals to the Biden administration to observe the recent United Nations General Assembly vote, which called for an end to the six-decade blockade of Cuba by a vote of 184-2.

The current crisis Cuba faces is a result of the blockade, the additional 243 sanctions the Trump administration imposed, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Though Cuba has produced two Covid vaccines, the country’s own vaccine roll-out programme has been hampered by a lack of syringes and raw materials as a direct result of the blockade. These measures had already led to serious food, medical and fuel shortages before the pandemic.

The Cuba Support Group Ireland recently completed a 15-hour walk from County Meath to the Dublin Convention Centre, where the Dáil is sitting, to raise money for the purchase of syringes for the Cuban Covid-19 vaccination programme. Once there they delivered a petition to Oireachtas friendship group members and independent TDs, Deputy Thomas Pringle, Oireachtas friendship group convenor, and Deputy Catherine Connolly.

Street protests took place in Cuba on July 11th against the scarcity of food, medicines and power supplies, but some groups, including pro-blockade politicians and groups in the United States, are seeking to provoke and manipulate the situation.

Deputy Pringle said: “The future of Cuba must be determined by the Cuban people and we must stand for Cuban self-determination. For the past 60 years, Cuba has shown great resilience in the face of these crippling sanctions.

“Today, in the face of an ongoing global pandemic, there can be no excuse for the continuation of this morally and politically unacceptable blockade. This is a humanitarian crisis that needs an urgent humanitarian response,” he said.