Friday, November 16, 2007

Cuba making strides despite US blockade

Jamaica Gleaner

published: Friday | November 16, 2007

'Cuba stands as a model to developing countries of dignity, resistance, resilience and commitment to peace and human development.'

The Editor, Sir:

A letter from Pedro Dorta of Maryland, United States, was carried in The Gleaner on Tuesday, November 13. In this letter he questioned why he has to send his mother, a pensioner, money if Cuba is feeding its people.

Does this Cuban not realise the impact that the U.S. blockade has had on the development of Cuba? The Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque, recently said that the sanctions have cost Cuba more than US$89 billion. The U.S. blockade was intended to cause hunger and desperation in order to force the people to renounce the Cuban revolution and return to the neocolonial status in which it was held for over half a century.

But the opposite has happened. The Cuban revolution is firmer today than ever, and 184 nations at the United Nations General Assembly voted for the lifting of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, an increase from 59 nations in 1992.

US isolated

Only four nations voted against the recent U.N. resolution - the United States, Israel, Marshall Islands, and Palau. One nation abstained. The United States is isolated on this issue.

It is no miracle that the Cuban Revolution continues to survive despite the blockade, and has made great strides in education, science, technology, industry and social development. It is due to the strength and determination of the Cuban people. Cuba stands as a model to developing countries of dignity, resistance, resilience and commitment to peace and human development.

If their achievements have been as great under the blockade, can you imagine what it will be like when the blockade is lifted?

Revolution humane

Notwithstanding the difficulties it faces, Cuba shares the benefits of its revolution with countries all over the world through scholarships, the Miracle Eye Care programme and other medical assistance, supply of teachers, collaboration in science and technology, and much more.

The Cuban Revolution is so humane that through the Miracle Eye care programme, the eyesight of the Bolivian soldier who killed Che Guevara was restored.

My message to Pedro is: The fact that you live in the U.S. does not mean that you have to be a puppet of George Bush. Open your eyes and face the facts; otherwise, you will be as isolated as the president of the United States, popularly called 'Pequeno Bush' in Latin America.

Sending his mother money is a loving act that people all over the world practise, and Pedro should continue to do so without rancour. He should know that Jamaica's economy depends heavily on remittances from family and friends abroad.

Jamaica's neocolonial status does not shield it from the vagaries of capitalism. This is typical of many developing countries which are bound by the stranglehold of imperialist domination under the new moniker 'globalisation'.

I am, etc.,


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