Report from the International Trade Education Squad (ITES)


Remove Cuba from the U.S. List of State Supporters of Terrorism

By Susan Metz, for ITES

Terrorism provokes dread and horror by bullying and coercion—from threats to murder. No proof has been presented that could convince even one member of the New York City council who voted unanimously on June 22 to pass Resolution 0285-A. That resolution urges President Biden to sign one document that would remove Cuba from the U.S. list of State Supporters of Terrorism (SSOT).

During his last days in office, President Trump returned Cuba to the SSOT as another aspect among the numerous economic aggressions against our island neighbor supported by national administrations of both corporate political parties. President Biden would do well to follow in the footsteps of President Obama, who removed Cuba from SSOT and opened diplomatic relations. President Obama honestly won two terms. During his campaign Biden promised to remove Cuba from the list. He hasn’t. People throughout the country are reminding him of the dire suffering sanctions and the blockade are causing the people and environment in Cuba.

Being on the list of SSOT imposes U.S. economic penalties on third countries and private enterprises who maintain commercial relations with the island. Sanctions foreclose financial and trade relations as well as development opportunities. Third countries and private enterprises are penalized for mutually beneficial relations with Cuba. As a result, Cubans experience widespread lack of medicines, food and gas/oil for transportation and electricity. As the economy is destroyed, many are forced to leave. This contributes to the immigration crisis here.  

U.S. tax money is explicitly dedicated to causing suffering with the goal of provoking Cubans into rising up for regime change. Building respectful relations with our neighbors is the cause that has mobilized 57 peace, faith, labor, advocacy and youth groups and innumerable individuals. Ninety-three resolutions were passed by representative bodies in cities and unions, indicating the will of 54 million Americans. And the list is growing.   

As well, calls to “Let Cuba Live” are international. All but three members of the UN General Assembly vote yearly, urging the U.S. to respect the international law prohibiting interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation.  

Organized through the #OffTheList campaign of the National Network on Cuba (NNOC), on June 25 buses travelled to Washington DC to celebrate Cuban culture, science, independence, autonomy and self-government. Local actions happened too. The International Trade Education Squad of the Coop, Brooklyn For Peace, Cuba Si NY & NJ, Democratic Socialists of America and the Green Party of NJ co-sponsored an action in front of the central Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. We were there during a Festival of Caribbean Cultural. We spoke with many who know Cubans’ geniality and generosity well. Communications with all elected representatives can call also for an end to the economic blockade/embargo and for closing the military base/prison/torture site on occupied land in the eastern province of Guantanamo. 

For documentation, information and news check National Network on Cuba, CODEPINK, ACERE & #OffTheList.

Ninety-three resolutions from cities (large and medium) and unions (locals and national) representing 54 million.  

Reject changing the SSOT list from administrative directive to law by communicating with congressional members to support a resounding NO vote on H314 and S583. Don’t change an administrative directive into a law! President Biden can and should take Cuba off the list!