Philadelphians call on President Biden to end the blockade on COVID-19 aid to Cuba

Philadelphians call on President Biden to end the blockade on COVID-19 aid to Cuba

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Daisy Confoy, [email protected]


November 16, 2021

At the Liberty Bell at 11 a.m. on Monday, November 15, Philadelphia Democratic Socialists of America (Philly DSA), Party for Socialism and Liberation-Philly,  Party for Socialism and Liberation-Philadelphia, Workers World Party, and other local organizations and residents held a demonstration calling on President Biden to end the blockade on COVID-19 aid to Cuba. 

While most Cubans have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the domestically produced COVID-19 vaccines, they still suffer from a lack of ventilators, PPE, and other COVID-related medical supplies. Even worse, the country has a shortage of medicine for numerous ailments, including asthma inhalers, glaucoma and scabies medicines, and antibiotics. The US embargo, which has been in place for six decades, has also prevented Cuba from acquiring the needed raw materials to produce more vaccines to send to countries in dire need, putting millions of people at risk. 

“We are starving this island for no reason. We believe in the Cuban people, and not this inhumane, illegal, and cruel embargo,” said Luke Mills, a Philly DSA member who organized the demonstration. 

President Biden has the power to overturn Trump’s Cuba policy and end the suffering of millions now through executive order. The local demonstration made the following demands of the White House: 

  1. Remove the specific licenses required to send medical supplies to Cuba such as testing kits and respiratory devices to Cuba and end or suspend end-use verification;
  2. Lift restrictions on the percentage of US-made material used in foreign produced medical supplies and on banking and financial transactions related to humanitarian aid;
  3. Offer short-term general licenses for those categories of sales or donations, thereby mobilizing aid efforts and making humanitarian licensing a clearer, quicker, more accessible, and more navigable process for those interested in providing relief to the Cuban people;
  4. Remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list to allow all financial transactions for medical export and trade;
  5. Ease all restrictions for Cuban Americans to send remittances to their families in Cuba. 

Additionally, the demonstration also encouraged making donations to Global Health Partners, which is sending lifesaving medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to Cuba. 

Philadelphians demand the end of the medical blockade and say let Cuba live!

About Philadelphia Democratic Socialists of America (Philly DSA): 

Philly DSA is a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest and fastest growing socialist organization in the United States. We are a member-funded, member-run, and democratic organization that fights for a political agenda that puts working people at the center.

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