Posted by Workers World Editor, November 16, 2018
Opinion polls said it. Now the Florida midterm elections show it.
Two of three South Florida representatives to the U.S. House who had prioritized hostility to socialist Cuba lost their seats. Ileana Roz-Lehtinen’s hand-picked replacement couldn’t win her former congressional seat; Carlos Curbelo lost, too.
Although this change was not reflected in the Senate race in Florida, even the Miami Herald speculated on Nov. 8: “Makeup of new Congress could create a different dynamic on Cuba policy.”
Let’s call “Cuba policy” by its right name — BLOCKADE. Travelers may be able to book direct flights on most airlines from many U.S. airports to destinations in Cuba, but four Indian banks have refused to complete financial transactions to sell antibiotics to Cuba. And that’s just one example of the U.S. blockade in action.
But don’t depend on the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to change anything. So far it is agricultural states in the U.S., which are drowning in unsold soybeans, milk and other produce, that strongly want restrictions lifted. Many of these states lean Republican.
Democratic President Bill Clinton formalized the blockade into law by signing the Helms-Burton Act in 1996. Even the actions by former Democratic President Barack Obama to re-establish diplomatic relations, direct flights and mutually respectful discussions with Cuba on many issues, were aimed at a broader, unspoken “regime-change” agenda. The plan was — and still is — to find a way to reassert U.S. domination in Latin America and the Caribbean. U.S. targets include not only Cuba, but Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, as well as Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil.
It is up to revolutionaries, progressives, Cuban-Americans and the million or more U.S. residents who have traveled to Cuba and seen it for themselves to make and enforce this demand on the U.S. Congress: