• Michael Laxer

Petition calls on Canadian government to robustly oppose US sanctions on Cuba

A new petition to Canada's parliament calls on the Canadian government to take a more robust stance in opposition to the continuing US economic blockade of Cuba.

A Cuban internationalist medical brigade arrives in the Turks and Caicos Islands to help fight the pandemic, June, 2020


A new petition to Canada's parliament calls on the Canadian government to take a more robust 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 who, in a grotesque parting shot, even designated Cuba as a "state sponsor of terrorism".


There were initially high hopes that the new Biden administration would ease the sanctions and reverse the absurd designation. But, so far, that has not happened. In fact, on Tuesday May 25 the administration decided to maintain a Trump-era determination that Cuba is not fully cooperating in the fight against terrorism:


“I hereby determine and certify to the Congress that the following countries are not cooperating fully with United States antiterrorism efforts,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a brief note, which listed Cuba along with Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Syria and Venezuela.
The note was signed by Blinken on May 14 but was not released until Tuesday.
“The slander is surprising and irritating as are the application of Trump's policy and his 243 sanctions,” the Communist-run country’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, tweeted.

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 has imposed economic sanctions, amounting to an economic war, against Cuba for more than 60 years, constituting the principal obstacle to Cuba’s social and economic development, having cost in excess of $100 billion;

  • The Government of the United States has pressured and coerced other countries to participate in its regime of economic sanctions against Cuba;

  • The United States economic sanctions 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

  • Since 1992, the international community, including Canada, has rejected United States economic sanctions against Cuba through overwhelming votes in the United Nations General Assembly.

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


1. Call on the Government of the United States to end all economic sanctions against Cuba;

2. Call on the Government of the United States to cease its campaign of subversion and policy of hostility and aggression against Cuba;

3. Call on the Government of the United States to remove Cuba from the United States Department of State’s List of State Sponsors of Terror;

4. Take immediate steps and actions through the implementation and enforcement of, among others, the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act, in order to preserve Canadian sovereignty and ensure that Canadian companies and other entities do not participate in United States economic sanctions against Cuba; and

5. Ensure that its relations with Cuba be based on equality and the respect of sovereignty, independence and the right of self-determination.


The petition was opened May 28 and will close for signatures September 25, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. (EDT). It can be signed at: Petition e-3456 - Petitions (ourcommons.ca)


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