Socialist candidate Gloria La Riva on Obama's trip to Cuba

We stand with Cuba!

PSL Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva with Cuban President Raúl Castro

President Barack Obama has announced that he will visit Cuba March 21 and 22. He will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years. The La Riva/Puryear campaign supports Cuba’s sovereignty and expresses its full solidarity with the Cuban Revolution.

The historic announcement on December 17, 2014 that diplomatic relations would be restored between the United States and Cuba was an admission by President Obama that the U.S. blockade had “failed to advance American interests.” As Obama’s visit nears, his comments make clear the aims and motivations of Washington towards Cuba.

In a December interview, Obama said he will “keep pushing and prodding” for “human rights and democracy” in Cuba. Of course in that regard, Cuba shows many accomplishments, and the United States serious deficiencies—for one, the notorious tortures and detention in Guantánamo prison on territory illegally occupied by the United States.

Cuba is accused by Washington of “religious intolerance.” Yet, Cuba is highly regarded for its openness to all religions internally and globally, while guaranteeing separation of church and state. The signing of a mutual cooperation pact between Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kiril in Havana on February 12—a place they both chose—was a significant recognition of Cuba’s leadership in that regard.

Obama says he will promote “democracy” while in Cuba, a term by which U.S. foreign policy routinely means capitalism.

Washington’s real dream is to impose U.S. capitalist interests on Cuba’s economy, to line their coffers with more and more profits. But even more, U.S. imperialism hopes that this would stimulate the development of a pro-capitalist, counter-revolutionary section of Cuban society.

Masses of Cubans march to show their continued support for their Revolution and for socialism.Masses of Cubans march to show their continued support for their Revolution and for socialism.
Photo: Gloria La Riva

Although the Cuban people look forward to more equitable relations with the United States, they are highly politically conscious and aware of Washington’s aims.

Cuban President Raúl Castro stated last December 18 in a public address: “The Cuban people will not renounce the principles and ideals which various generations of Cubans have fought for throughout the last half century. The right of each State to choose the economic, political and social system that it desires, without any interference, must be respected.”

If the Obama administration really cared about establishing relations on the basis of equality, he would immediately close the U.S. military base and torture center at Guantánamo Bay and return the territory to the Cuban people.

We demand that the U.S. government immediately lift the blockade. The United States attempted to isolate Cuba in the international arena, while at the same time making every effort to cause hunger and desperation internally with the explicit goal of overthrowing the revolutionary government. Half a century later, President Obama admitted that this plan had failed.

The Cuban people hold steadfast to their gains and their revolutionary socialist process while at the same time upholding the spirit of internationalism. It is a testament to their resistance that they have endured 54 years of blockade. After hurricane Katrina, the Cuban government offered to send over a thousand doctors to the Gulf Coast—with the blockade in full swing—but President George W. Bush refused.

The La Riva/Puryear campaign stands for full respect of the sovereignty of countries that have found themselves threatened by U.S. imperialism. We demand that the U.S. government not only end the blockade, but all other efforts at regime change against Cuba, a socialist country with so much to offer the people of the world.

Originally published in the March 2016 issue of Liberation Newspaper