The monthly caravan protests against the US blockade of Cuba continued this month, showing the world's opposition to the genocidal US blockade. This month, activists from Rock Around the Blockade and the Revolutionary Communist Group stood up to imperialist warfare and propaganda against socialist Cuba, with some choosing to focus on Cuba's environmental achievements. Get in touch if you'd like to participate in the activities next month! Here are some photos and videos from around the country:

London

Supporters in London joined in with Cubanos en UK to host a demonstration against the blockade.

London 7

London 6

A Cuban boy takes part in trials of Abdala vaccine

Rock Around The Blockade supporters have raised a donation of £1,000 for the Cubanos En UK medical supplies fund. This money will be used to purchase medical supplies to assist the Cuban people in vaccinating their whole population against Covid-19. In particular, funds will help to complete the drive to administer Cuban-developed and approved vaccines Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus, the first Covid-19 vaccines specifically approved for 3- to 11-year-olds in the world.

It has been half a year since the monthly caravan protests against the US blockade of Cuba began. This month, activists from Rock Around the Blockade and the Revolutionary Communist Group stood up to imperialist warfare and propaganda against socialist Cuba. Get in touch if you'd like to participate in the activities next month! Here are some photos and videos from around the country:

The RCG and our campaign Rock around the Blockade heeded the call by the Cuban Communist Party to take to the streets in defence of the Cuban Revolution and mobilised across Britain to this end, countering the British imperialist media’s false narrative.

Cuba Caravana London

On 12 July we gathered outside the Cuban Embassy in London in support of the revolutionaries assembling across Cuba. A small number of reactionary Cubans harassed comrades outside the Embassy; their anti-revolutionary character was clear from their vandalising of a revolutionary M-26-7 flag. We stood our ground outside the Embassy until the reactionaries had given up and gone home after being drowned out by our speeches and chants of ‘yo soy Fidel’.

Cuba Caravana Edinburgh

On 17 July comrades in Edinburgh protested outside the US Consulate demanding an end to the genocidal US blockade.

Cuba Caravana Glasgow

Cuba Caravana Manchester

On the 24 and 25 July, RCG branches and FRFI supporters groups across the country took part in a national weekend of action in celebration of the 26 July 1953 Moncada Barrack attack, which sparked the revolutionary struggle in Cuba, and coinciding with the monthly caravanas demanding an end to the blockade. In Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Birmingham we held lively street events demonstrating the relevance of Cuban socialism for us in Britain, and in London we held a demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

‘Our government has let over 120,000 people die from coronavirus and is now pursuing the murderous policy of herd immunity, with support from the Labour Party, for the sake of getting the economy going. Deaths per million of the population are eight times higher in Britain than in Cuba. While under the US’ economic, commercial and financial embargo, Cuba has produced five unique vaccines and have, from the beginning, adopted a zero-Covid approach. This is what is possible with a planned economy, revolutionary consciousness and a system run by the people, for the people. What is that system called? Socialism!’ declared a speaker in Liverpool. 

School students hold Cuba flag

'To combat the reactionary media, my friends and I organised a day of solidarity with socialist Cuba in our schools by getting students to wear green in support of revolutionary Cuba. Many of us started discussions on the devastating impacts of the US blockade, the process of building socialism in Cuba and why we need to defend socialist Cuba from imperialist aggression. The day was a huge success, with swarms of green sweeping through our schools’ doors. Students flew the Cuban and M-26-7 flags with pride, accompanied by an understanding of the importance of using the example of Cuba to show the need for socialism here in Britain.'

Destinie Sanchez, London

Viva Cuba socialista! Join us in building an anti-imperialist, communist movement, inspired by revolutionary Cuba, on the streets of Britain!

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 283, August/September 2021

Cubans rally in defence of the revolution (credit: Prensa Latina)

On Sunday 11 July, anti-government protests took place simultaneously in dozens of locations throughout Cuba. In several places, including San Antonio on the outskirts of Havana, and in Matanzas, where Covid-19 cases have surged, protests turned violent, with windows smashed, shops looted, cars overturned, rocks thrown and people assaulted. Many of those involved were venting frustration at their daily difficulties, resulting from shortages of basic goods and the restrictions imposed in the context of Covid-19. However, behind these seemingly spontaneous outbursts lies a lucratively funded, long-run US strategy to foster opposition to the Cuban government. HELEN YAFFE reports from Havana.

Cuban women on a medical brigade in Kenya

First published on www.frfi.org.uk

Right to live without a blockade: the impact of US sanctions on the Cuban population and women’s lives,’ Oxfam, May 2021

The US blockade against Cuba, according to the most recent annual report submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, cost Cuba the equivalent of $5,570.3m between April 2019 and March 2020, up $1.2bn from the previous year. The Cuban government estimates that over six decades, the US blockade has cost its economy a total of $144,413.4bn. On 23 June, as it has done every year since 1992, 184 members of the UN General Assembly voted for a resolution calling for an end to the blockade; only the US and Israel voted against. During the Trump presidency, the US imposed 243 new sanctions, actions and measures on Cuba, 55 of these during the Covid-19 pandemic.

IMG 20210724 173956 534

In response to fresh attacks on the Cuban revolution, activists from Rock Around the Blockade and the Revolutionary Communist Group mobilised across the country in defence of socialist Cuba. The demonstrations coincided with the 26th of July, the anniversary of the founding of the revolutionary movement that overthrew the Batista dictatorship in Cuba. This was also the latest in an ongoing series of actions taking place every month, where activists from all around the world have been organising actions to call for an end to the US economic blockade of Cuba. Get in touch with us if you would like to get involved with the planning of future actions! Here are some of the actions:

The recent editorial: ‘The Guardian view on Cuba’s protests’ presents a false image of the situation in Cuba. It also includes distorted arguments which seem to be an attempt to absolve the US blockade of its genocidal nature. The section which covers the protests themselves fails to mention the counter demonstrations in several cities which came out in support of the government and against the US blockade. These demonstrations appear to have been equal to or even larger in number than the initial protests, so your assured statement “biggest protests in decades” is a bold estimate at best.

Mass rally and march in Camaguey, #Cuba in defence of the Cuban Revolution.

Your article 'Cuban president claims protests part of US plot to 'fracture' Communist party' on 12 July explicitly focuses on anti-government protest whilst failing to cover the much larger, pro-socialist demonstrations that have swept the country – much less quote anyone who participated in them. Some of the video footage you feature is of pro-socialist protests – but nowhere is it presented as such. Non-Spanish speakers will not notice the chants of ‘We are Fidel’ and ‘The people united will never be defeated’. This is hardly dissimilar from the sleight of hand taking place on social media sites: photos of clashes in Buenos Aires and Cairo labelled as Havana for example. Renowned Spanish analyst Julian Macias Tovar has reported on social media accounts participating in the ‘SOSCuba’ online campaign retweeting five times a second and that several of the leading accounts are operating from Spain and the United States – he has also shown that over 1,500 accounts that participated in the ‘Twitter storm’ were created over the weekend of 10-11th July. These are the now familiar hallmarks of today’s fringe movements, their influence outsized through the work of bots and algorithms. Surely your readers ought to be told this?