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Minnesota pushes for Cuba to be taken off terror list

By Sarah Martin

Minnesota Cuba caravan participants.

Minneapolis, MN – On March 26 Cuba solidarity activists responded to the national call for monthly car caravans to end the U.S. blockade of Cuba and to take Cuba off the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list (SSOT). The 18-car caravan flew Cuba flags and displayed pro-Cuba signs while they drove down Lake Street through a Latino neighborhood. It was welcomed with car honks and fist pumps.

In the last days of Trump in office, he added Cuba back on the SSOT. During Biden’s campaign to become president, he indicated he would take them off the list as well as revoke the 247 additional sanctions Trump had imposed, now he is breaking yet another campaign promise.

One of the organizers of the Minneapolis caravan, Marcy Shapiro, member of Women Against Military Madness Solidarity Committee on the Americas, read from a statement from organizers of the Miami caravan, “On March 23, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, testifying before the U.S. Congress, assured Miami Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar that the State Department has no plans to review Cuba’s status on the sponsors of state terrorism list. This is further motivation why our caravan is so important. We are the voice of thousands of people, Cuban and non-Cuban alike, who want to see an end to the blockade.”

She went on to read, “Almost 36,000 people, for example, packed the Loan Depot stadium on March 19 to watch Cuba play the USA in the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic. Perhaps half the crowd, primarily Miami Cubans, were there to root for the Cuban team. These fans demonstrated how there is a Cuban family on both sides of the Florida straits that thrills to the idea of increased athletic, cultural, and economic exchanges between the two nations.”

As the caravan drove through the streets of Minneapolis, WAMM member Carol Walker spoke on Zoom to the other cars about her recent return trip from Cuba. She was in a delegation sponsored by the Vets for Peace (VFP) where she and others saw the VFP’s sailboat, Golden Rule, as it visited Cuba on its coast-to-coast tour. Walker pointed out, “Isn’t it hypocritical that Biden calls Cuba a terrorist state when what they do is send boatloads of doctors to countries in need of medical help, while the U.S. bombs countries across the world? Who is the terrorist?”

Activists vowed to continue to fight to remove Cuba from the harsh grip of sanctions made worse by the exclusion of Cuba from the global financial system because of the destructive financial restrictions of the SSOT list.

In April 2023, will mark the second-year anniversary of the Minneapolis Cuba caravan in the Twin Cities. For more details, follow Solidarity Committee on the Americas on Facebook, and SCOTA_MN on Twitter and Instagram.

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