Minnesota joins the world in demanding end to the blockade on Cuba
Minneapolis, MN – On October 29 groups across the country participated in the “National Day of Action to End the Blockade against Cuba!” For over a year, many cities in the United States and countries around the world have been organizing events and car caravans in solidarity with the Cuban people to expose the United States government’s 60-year criminal and cruel blockade policy.
The rallies were held days before the annual United Nations vote on the resolution to end the blockade. Two Minnesota cities, Minneapolis and Duluth, took part in the day of action.
In Minneapolis, the Solidarity Committee on the Americas (SCOTA), Minnesota Cuba Committee, and Witness for Peace/Solidarity Collective and supporters came together to demand that the United States government finally end its reign of terror against the Cuban people. The rally took place at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue.
As the crowd gathered, Cuban flags flew in the wind. Banners read “End the blockade on Cuba” and “USA people say ¡Cuba si! ¡Bloqueo no! No U.S. blockade of Cuba. U.S. out of Guantanamo.”
Signs spread the message, “Hands off Cuba! Say Yes to the U.N. Resolution.”
Sarah Martin, a member of SCOTA, welcomed everyone. “Today is an important day for us, to pressure the U.S. government to finally stop the inhumane blockade of Cuba. The U.S. has been at war with Cuba directly and indirectly since Cuba gained their independence and the U.S. continues to punish them.”
Martin led the crowd in a chant, “When Cuba is under attack, what do we do?” They responded, “Stand up and fight back!”
Sandi Sherman, member of the MN Cuba Committee, told the crowd, “Trump’s administration put many sanctions on Cuba and put them back on the terrorist list nine days before he left office. Even though Biden has rolled back some of the sanctions, he has not lifted the terror restrictions. As a result, Cuba is suffering because they can’t access trade and financial credit from countries, banks and other institutions who fear repercussions from the U.S. if they do business with Cuba. This has impeded Cuba’s ability to recover from a massive fire at a fuel storage facility and from the latest hurricane.”
Sherman continued, “NBC reported that former intelligence analysts and officials who worked on Cuba policy in both Democratic and Republican administrations over the years stated, ‘the communist-led nation does not support terrorism.’” She added, “We need to add ‘Take Cuba off the state-sponsored terror list’ to our demands,” and ended with the chant of “Cuba socialista! No es terrorista!”
Other speakers included Minneapolis City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison, and John Terrazzas, a member of the Communist Party.
Cars honked in support throughout the rally. Protesters handed out leaflets to people walking by and others in cars waiting for the traffic lights to change.
At the same time, in Duluth, Grandmothers for Peace Northland Chapter, Twin Ports Democratic Socialists of America, and Northwoods Socialist Alliance brought together a diverse group of supporters to raise awareness about ending the embargo. The Duluth rally was significant because it was the first Cuba rally held in the area. The organizers noted that this is an initial event to bring attention to U.S.-Cuba relations and they can end the lack of knowledge of what is happening in Cuba and around the world.