• Michael Laxer

Petition calls on Canada to strongly oppose US sanctions on Cuba

A new petition to Canada's parliament sponsored by NDP MP Niki Ashton calls on the Canadian government to take a stronger stance in opposition to the continuing US economic blockade of Cuba.

Cubans rally in defense of the revolution in Havana, July 17, 2021


A new petition to Canada's parliament calls on the Canadian government to take a stronger stance in opposition to the continuing US economic blockade of Cuba. The decades long blockade -- which is opposed by almost every country in the world, including ostensibly Canada -- was intensified under the Trump administration. In June, for the 29th year in a row the United Nations overwhelmingly voted to call for the "ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo, imposed by the USA against Cuba". The vote was a staggering 184 in favour with only the United States and Israel voting against. (Three nations abstained).


There were initially high hopes that the new Biden administration would ease the sanctions. But, so far, that has not happened.


In fact, the Biden administration has introduced new sanctions and ramped up the rhetoric with the president describing Cuba as a "failed state" back in July. None of the Trump era sanctions have been reversed and the limits on remittances that Trump imposed have not been lifted.


On Cuba and other fronts, as Newsweek noted, these days Biden's "foreign policy looks even more like Trump's".


The Los Angeles Times had a recent headline that summed it up this way: "Despite promises to lift some Trump sanctions, Biden leaves Cuba in deep freeze".


The petition, initiated by Isaac Saney of Halifax, Nova Scotia and sponsored by NDP MP Niki Ashton reads:


Whereas:

  • The Government of the United States wages an economic war against Cuba, which is the principal obstacle to Cuba’s social and economic development, causing damages exceeding $100 billion;

  • The Government of the United States pressures and coerces other countries to participate in its more than 60-year economic war against Cuba;

  • The Government of the United States relentlessly organizes, finances, and orchestrates a campaign of disinformation, aggression, and subversion of Cuba’s legitimate constitutional order;

  • U.S. economic sanctions, constituting an economic blockade, and the campaign of subversion against Cuba are a violation of international law, the right of self-determination and the human rights of the people of Cuba; and

  • The international community, including Canada, repeatedly rejects the economic war against Cuba through overwhelming votes in the United Nations General Assembly and in other international forums.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:


1. Request an end to all economic sanctions against Cuba;

2. Ask that the Government of the United States cease its campaign of subversion, hostility, and aggression against Cuba;

3. Request that the Government of the United States remove Cuba from the U.S. Department of State’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list;

4. Take immediate steps and actions to preserve Canadian sovereignty, ensuring Canadian companies and other entities do not participate in U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba through, inter alia, the enforcement of the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act; and

5. Ensure that Canada’s relations with Cuba are based on equality and the respect of sovereignty, independence, and the right of self-determination.


The petition opened for signatures on October 29 and will close on February 26.


It can be signed at: Petition e-3640 - Petitions (ourcommons.ca)


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