Ramping up the illegal blockade of Cuba 

Well there we have it: the much heralded “thaw” in cold war aggression against Cuba emanating from Washington has proved the late Fidel Castro right, again.  US President 45 just reversed the tiny amelioration introduced by US President 44 in the criminal sanctions regime imposed against the people of Cuba for their heroic, multi-generational, defiance of US imperialism.

11 US presidents have now presided over a failed policy of isolation of Cuba by a system of international sanctions, first introduced in 1962. The declared intention of that policy was to force regime change by starving the citizens into submitting to the will of the US government. It is a policy that has failed to deliver.

Except, that is not quite true.  If the sanctioning regime has delivered anything, it is precisely the opposite of its intended outcome.  Not only has regime change not occurred, but the theoretical foundation of the Cuban revolution has been strengthened, and continues to be strengthened, by the recurrent absurdity of the policy.  That is not to deny the cruel and unusual suffering it has imposed on the ordinary people of the besieged island.  It is a policy that amounts to genocide.

When your aggressor is incapable of changing a failed policy after half a century of proof of its impotence, it becomes hard to believe that they have the imagination to pose any new threat either.  After all, the very definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different outcome. President 45 has proven he is now fully qualified for that diagnosis, if any doubt remained.

Admittedly, Trump would not be the first US president to discover that if you are short of friends in Washington, you can always find a supporter, or three, in the ageing rabid anti-Cuba immigrant community in Miami, who are always willing to sell their affections for another notch on the Cuba sanctions ratchet. It is, positively, the last refuge of a presidential scoundrel.

Cuba Support Group Ireland condemns the reversal of US policy announced. We have previously cautioned that the grudging Obama initiatives were instantly reversible by a subsequent occupant of the Whitehouse, which is why we never stopped calling for the lifting of the blockade.  And so, Obama’s last claim to a foreign policy legacy is extinguished.

We will continue to lobby the Irish government to reverse its ongoing support for the illegal US sanctions imposed against the people of Cuba.  Ireland dutifully conspires with the US government’s policy through such measures as allowing the US Office for Foreign Assets Control to block virtually all banking transactions within Ireland involving the word Cuba.  If you doubt that, try sending Cuba Support Group Ireland a donation by cheque. When it is refused, send the cheque to your local public representative for his advice.

We take this opportunity to remind Minister Donohue that he has inherited is predecessor’s studied inaction on this matter of Irish sovereignty. This indifference is in direct contravention of both Irish and European law outlawing the extra-territorial implementation of the US sanctions regime. It also happens to be in breech of his sworn oath to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland.

Simon McGuinness
National Coordinator
Cuba Support Group Ireland