Donald Trump

  • Published 19 June 2017 by Granma

    June 16, 2017, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in a speech replete with hostile rhetoric which recalled the era of open confrontation with our country, announced in a Miami theater his administration's policy toward Cuba which reverses advances made these last two years, after December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro Ruz and Barack Obama made public the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations and initiate a process toward normalization of bilateral ties.

    In what constitutes a setback in relations between the two countries, Trump delivered a speech and during the same event signed a policy directive entitled, " National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening U.S. Policy toward Cuba," mandating the elimination of educational "people-to-people" exchanges undertaken by individuals, and greater control of U.S. travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of economic, commercial, or financial transactions on the part of U.S. companies with Cuban enterprises linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces, intelligence or security services - all of this with the intentional objective of denying us income. The U.S. President justified this policy with alleged concerns about the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvement in bilateral relations, on our country making changes elemental to our constitutional order.

    Trump likewise vacated the Presidential Policy Directive, "Normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba," issued by President Obama on October 14, 2016, which, although it did not attempt to hide the interventionist character of U.S. policy or the objective of advancing its interest in changes in our country's economic, political and social order, the directive recognized Cuba's independence, sovereignty, and self-determination, and the Cuban government as a legitimate, equal interlocutor, as well as the benefits that both countries and people could gain in a relationship of civilized coexistence, within the context of the great differences which exist between our two governments. It also recognized that the blockade was an obsolete policy that should be eliminated.

    Once again, the U.S. government resorts to the coercive methods of the past, adopting measures to tighten the blockade, in effect since February of 1962, which not only causes harm and depravation to the Cuban people and constitutes an undeniable obstacle to our economy's development, but also impacts the sovereignty and interests of other countries, generating international condemnation.

    The measures announced create additional obstacles to already restricted opportunities available to U.S. businesses to trade with and invest in Cuba.

  • Published on 5 April 2017 by

    mariel port

    On 25 and 26 March the first National Cuba Conference to be held in the United States since 1979 took place at Fordham Law School in New York. The conference demanded the full normalisation of US-Cuba relations; the elimination of the US blockade, the return of US-occupied territory in Guantanamo and an end to US regime change programmes. These are essential demands for the international movement in solidarity with socialist Cuba at this complex juncture; with the possibility of renewed aggression from the new Trump administration, and with the challenges faced both in its process of economic restructuring and the pending transition to a post-Castro era. Helen Yaffe reports.

    Cuba and the United States re-established diplomatic relations in the summer of 2015, 54 years after they were broken off, and six months after Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama astonished the world with their announcements on 17 December 2014. Rapprochement was possible because Obama became the first US president since 1959 to abandon conditionality and talk to Cuba. In his first term, he had demanded concessions or preconditions from Cuba as a prerequisite to talks. Cuba never submitted to conditions being imposed on it. Likewise, Cuba dropped its historical precondition of refusing to restore diplomatic relations while the US blockade remains.

    With the restoration of diplomatic relations, embassies were opened; the US removed Cuba from its list of states supporting terrorism; the Havana Club rum label was registered in the US, resolving a 20-year-long ownership dispute; coastguard cooperation issues were resolved; regular flights and postal services were restored after decades. High profile prisoner releases took place on both sides. Obama eased restrictions on US citizens’ travel to the island, although this still requires a licence. In 2016, over half a million US citizens travelled to Cuba from the US – half of them Cuban-Americans. In his final days as President, Obama eliminated the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy which encouraged illegal and dangerous emigration by Cubans, by granting them automatic residency in the US and citizenship within one year.

    However, in the commercial and economic area, progress has been minimal. Since the Helms-Burton Act of 1996 codified the blockade in US law, a vote in the US Congress is necessary to eliminate it, but by using his executive powers decisively Obama could have virtually dismantled it. In September 2015 and 2016, he signed annual extensions on the Trading With the Enemy Act against Cuba, one of the laws which sustains the blockade. Obama took only small, strategic steps to ‘engage’ Cuba by signing executive orders (which can be rescinded) to bypass Congress. His administration introduced five packets of measures and granted licences for a handful of US companies to trade with and/or operate in Cuba: six telecoms firms; four cruise companies; one hotel; eight airlines; two small banks. In mid-December 2016, Google signed a deal with the Cuban government to install servers on the island to speed up internet access.

    Regulations issued under Obama state that financial institutions can provide Cuba with finance and credit for its authorised operations. However, no US bank has been willing to do this. Banks are terrified of fines being imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) while Cuba remains on the list of countries under US sanctions. And for good reason: Obama fined a record-breaking 49 entities for dealing with Cuba; more than President Bush. Effectively, Cuba still cannot use the dollar in the international economy, nor make deposits in international banks. Cuban goods still cannot be exported to the US; the one exception in more than 50 years being 40 tons of artisanal charcoal produced by Cuban cooperative farms and imported in January 2017 by Scott Gilbert, the attorney who represented US government contractor Alan Gross, released from prison in Cuba in 2014.

    Illegality of the US blockade

  • Published on 14 January 2018 by teleSUR English
    A statement by several Caribbean organizations declares Donald Trump "Persona Non-Grata" in the Caribbean. The statement, which will be formally announced at a press conference on Monday, is part of a chorus of condemnation emanating worldwide in protest at statements allegedly made by Donald Trump in regards to Haiti and El Salvador.

    "We, the under-signed representatives of the sovereign people of the Caribbean, hereby declare that President Donald Trump of the United States of America is "Persona Non Grata" in our Caribbean region!

    We further declare that as a "Persona Non Grata" President Donald Trump is NOT welcome in any territory of the Caribbean, and we hereby confirm that we - the Caribbean people - will petition our Governments, vehemently protest against any Trump visit, and engage in popular demonstrations designed to prevent President Donald Trump's entry into any portion of the sovereign territory of our Caribbean region.

    As sons and daughters of the Caribbean, we hereby affirm that the continent of Africa is the revered Motherland of a sizable majority of our people and that the Republic of Haiti -- the seminal architect of the destruction of the system of chattel slavery that held our ancestors in bondage -- is the foundational cornerstone of our Caribbean Civilization, and we, therefore, consider that any insult or attack that is directed at the African continent or at the Republic of Haiti is intrinsically an insult and attack that is directed at us as well.

    We further affirm that we Caribbean people -- in light of our history of experiencing, resisting, and surviving the most horrendous forms of enslavement and colonialism -- consciously regard ourselves as champions and defenders of the dignity and fundamental human rights of all Black or African people, and that we are guided by an over-arching and non-negotiable principle of zero tolerance of any manifestation of anti-Black or anti-African racism or discrimination.

    It is against this background that we, the sovereign people of the Caribbean, have determined that by describing the nations of Africa, the Republic of Haiti and the Central American nation of El Salvador as "shithole" countries, U S President Donald Trump has committed a despicable and unpardonable act of anti-Black, anti-African, anti-Brown racism that has served to further energize and fortify the vile White supremacy system that the said President Trump has self-consciously sought to champion and lead.

    We -- the sovereign people of the Caribbean-- hereby declare to the entire world that we vehemently and unreservedly denounce President Donald Trump and the evil and inhuman White supremacy value system that he represents"


    1. Clement Payne Movement of Barbados
    2. Pan-African Coalition of Organizations (PACO)
    3. Israel Lovell Foundation of Barbados.
    4. Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI)
    5. Caribbean Chapter of the International Network in Defense of Humanity
    6. Global Afrikan Congress
    7. Caribbean Pan-African Network (CPAN)
    8. Peoples Empowerment Party (Barbados)
    9. Pan-African Federalist Movement--Caribbean Region Committee
    9. International Committee of Black Peoples (Guadeloupe)
    10. Jamaica/Cuba Friendship Association
    11. Jamaica LANDS
    12. SRDC Guadeloupe / Martinique Chapter
    13. Ijahnya Christian  (St. Kitts and Nevis)
    14. Dorbrene O'Marde  (Antigua and Barbuda)
    15. NswtMwt Chenzira Davis Kahina  (Ay Ay Virgin Islands-US)
    16. Ivana Cardinale (Venezuela)
    17. Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad & Tobago
    18. Organization for the Victory of the People (Guyana)
    19. Gerald Perreira (Guyana)
    20 Black Consciousness Movement of Guyana
    21. Conscious Lyrics Foundation  (St. Martin)
    22. Myrtha Delsume (Haiti)
    23 Anthony "Gabby" Carter (Barbados)
    24. Cuban /Barbadian Friendship Association
    25. Friends of Venezuela Solidarity Committee (Barbados)
    26.  Maxi Baldeo (Barbados)
    27. Dr. Nancy Fergusson Jacobs (Barbados)
    28. Ayo Moore (Barbados)
    29. Haiti / Jamaica Society
    30. Anthony Reid (Barbados)
    31.Cheryl Hunte (Barbados)
    32. Hamilton Lashley (former Barbados Minister of Government)
    33. Erica Williams (Guyana)
    34. Kilanji Bangarah (Namibia / Jamaica)
    35. International Movement for Reparations  (Martinique)
    36. Alex Sujah Reiph (St Martin)
    37. Thelma Gill-Barnett  (Barbados)
    38. Khafra Kambon (Trinidad and Tobago)
    39. Margaret Harris (Barbados)
    40. Jacqueline Jacqueray  (Guadeloupe)
    41. Garcin Malsa (Martinique)
    42. National Committee for Reparations (Martinique)
    43. Officers and Members of the Global Afrikan Congressuk  (GACuk)
    44. Jamaica Peace Council
    45. Ingrid Blackwood (Jamaica)
    46. Glenroy Watson (President, RMT's London Transport Regional Council / Jamaica)
    47. Paul Works (Jamaica)
    48. Abu Akil (United Kingdom / Jamaica)
    49. Kwame Howell  (Barbados)
    50. Ian Marshall  (Barbados)
    51. Michael Heslop (Jamaica)
    52. Andrea King  (Barbados)
    54. Cikiah Thomas  (Canada / Jamaica)
    55. Bobby Clarke (Barbados)
    56. Trevor Prescod, Member of Parliament (Barbados)
    57. David Denny (Barbados)
    58. John Howell (Barbados)
    59. Lalu Hanuman (Barbados / Guyana)
    60. Onkphra Wells (Barbados)
    61. Rahmat Jean-Pierre (Barbados)
    62. Philip Springer (Barbados)
    63. Cedric Jones  (Guyana)
    64. David Comissiong (Barbados)
    65. Selrach Belfield  (Guyana)
    66. Kathy "Ife" Harris  (Barbados)
    67. Andrea Quintyne  (Barbados)
    68. Felipe Noguera  (Trinidad & Tobago)
    69. Suzanne Laurent  (Martinique)
    70. Line Hilgros Makeda Kandake (Guadeloupe)
    71. Kerin Davis  (Jamaica)
    72. Delvina E. Bernard  (Africentric Learning Institute, Nova Scotia, Canada)
    73. Muhammad Nassar  (Barbados)
    74. Anthony Fraser  (Guyana)
    75. Troy Pontin  (Guyana)
    76. Nigel Cadogan  (Barbados)
    77. Ras Iral Jabari  (Barbados)
    78. Nicole Cage  (Martinique)
    79. Robert Romney  (St Martin / Guadeloupe)
    80. Anne Braithwaite  (Guyana)
    81. Icil Phillips  (Barbados)
    82. Marie Jose Ferjule (Martinique)
    83. Errol Paul  (Guyana)
    84. Erskine Bayne (Barbados)
    85. Robert Gibson (Barbados)
    86. Alister Alexander (Barbados)
    87. Mark Adamson  (Barbados)
    88. Junior Jervis (Guyana)
    89. Lee Bing  (Guyana)
    90. Akram Sabree  (Guyana)
    91. Rudolph Solbiac  (Martinique)
    92. Stephane Eveillard  (Haiti)
    93. Suzy Sorel (Martinique)
    94. Luciani Lanoir  (Martinique)
    95. Ras Bongo Wisely  (St Lucia)
    96. Caribbean Rastafari Organization
    97. Dr. Rodney Worrell  (Barbados)
    98. David Bannister  (Barbados)
    99. Ismay Griffith  (Barbados)
    100. Edson Crawford  (Barbados)
    101. Guy M A Vala  (Guadeloupe)
    102. Urielle Guillaume
    103. Laetitia Fernandez
    104. Fraiderik Jean-Pierre
    105. Vivi Romney (Guadeloupe)
    106. Emmanel Fleurant (France)
    107. Colette Galiby
    108. Monique Ravenet
    109. Djaka Apakoua
    110. Laura De Lacaze
    110. El B Gourdin
    112. Joseph Jacques
    113. Bella Nazaire  (Martinique)
    114. Jean-Claude Dorvil  (Haiti / Canada)
    115. Aisha Comissiong (Barbados)
    116. Donai Lovell (Barbados)