PSAC is calling on the Canadian government to press the United States into easing its embargo and sanctions on Cuba. The country is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis following 62 years of U.S. sanctions and the outbreak of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the people of Cuba are taking to the streets to protest the lack of access to basic necessities.
In an open letter to Justin Trudeau, PSAC urges the federal government to call on President Biden’s administration to immediately fulfill his election pledge to revoke Trump’s executive orders on Cuba and return to the cooperative relationship established by President Obama. The union also asked that Canada join Mexico, Spain and Argentina in offering Cuba immediate humanitarian assistance to alleviate food, energy and medical shortages.
“We recognize the right of Cubans to assemble and protest, and encourage the use of social dialogue to resolve these disputes,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “However, Canadians also know that the U.S. blockade grossly interferes in the sovereign affairs of Cuba. Ending this policy would promote a peaceful and democratic path forward for the Cuban people.”
According to the United Nations, the 60-year blockade has resulted in the loss of US$130 billion of economic and social development for Cuban workers and their families. Cuba is also grappling with an exponential growth in COVID-19 cases, while facing a crippling shortage of medical supplies due to the sanctions.
Hundreds of individuals and organizations from Halifax to Victoria – including PSAC and other unions – have supported the efforts of the Canadian Network on Cuba to facilitate the purchase and shipping of nearly two million syringes for Cuba’s immunization drive.
But Canada and the U.S. must take immediate action to lift the Cuban embargo and help alleviate the humanitarian crisis for the Cuban people.