The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the U. S. Government and its allies to immediately end all economic sanctions and blockade against Cuba.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this on Thursday in Abuja in a statement entitled,”Give the Cubans a Break: Enough is Enough”.
Wabba, who is also the President, International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) said the removal of the economic sanction was imperative to end the anti-government protest in Cuba and the pro-government counter rallies across the cities of Cuba in the past few weeks.
According to him, these rare protests and counter protest in Cuba are linked to the impact of the novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) in Cuba.
”Most hospitals in Cuba have run out of essential supplies. Many stores and supermarkets in Havana and other cities in Cuba have also run out of basic goods.
”The result is widespread lack, fear, panic, frustration and desperation among the general population. This is regrettable but quite avoidable.
”The horrendous landfall of COVID-19 in Cuba flew on the wings of six decades of economic blockade against the Cuban nation and its people by the government of the United States of America and her allies,”he said.
He said it would be recalled that after the revolution that ushered in the Socialist government in Cuba in 1958, the U.S. government through laws passed by the United States Congress stifled the economy of Cuba.
He noted that in the 1990s, the government of the U.S. expanded the economic sanctions against the people of Cuba by introducing the Torricely Law and the Helms Burton law.
Wabba said these laws introduced an extraterritorial character to the economic blockade against Cuba by coercing other countries to refrain from doing business with Cuba.
He said that for nearly 60 years, the Cuban people had stoically shown resilience and have resisted the economic blockade against their country.
”Cuba despite the sanctions have made great progress in education and healthcare innovation and services. Successive Cuban governments have managed to maintain a reasonable level of public services.
”But there is so much that a people can achieve amidst a debilitating blockade. COVID-19 which has brought many nations not experiencing prolonged economic sanctions to their knees has hit Cuba very hard.
”The will of a section of the Cuban people is currently broken, that is the intention of the sanctions.This is unfortunate.
”The most prominent tissue in the muscle of democracy is liberty and freedom to choose. Once freedom to choose is removed from the edifice of democracy, all that is left is a pile of sand.
”Cubans have a right to self-determination and choice of a political culture that will advance their social and economic aspirations. No nation can and should impose their own will on the Cubans,”he said.
According to him, the beauty of democracy is the availability of alternatives.
He said that the Cuban people have chosen their alternative. Cubans have chosen their political path and it should should be respected.
Wabba however called on the U. S. and its allies to immediately rescind and remove all the economic sanctions and blockade against the people of Cuba.
He noted that these were the root of the current serious deterioration of living conditions in Cuba.
”Clearly, there is no morally defensible reason for the United States of America to sustain the six decades punishment against Cuba.
”It is gratifying that most Cubans continue to show faith in their government and in the political system they believe works for them.
”The least the U. S. and its allies can do is to allow Cubans to decide their own fate. The people of Cuba certainly need a break from the cruel sanctions. Enough is enough,” he said.(NAN)