Minnesota Capital Calls for U.S. Blockade Against Cuba to be lifted

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The City Council of Saint Paul, the capital of Minnesota, today unanimously passed a resolution calling on the U.S. government to end the blockade imposed on Cuba over 55 years ago.

The document calls on Congress and President Donald Trump to put an end to all aspects of the economic, commercial and financial siege, including the restrictions that prohibit Americans from traveling freely to the Largest of the Antilles.

The city also urges the Republican leader to renew the rapprochement with the Government of the Island with the purpose of creating a new relationship of cooperation between the two nations.

It also requests the re-establishment of diplomatic personnel in the respective embassies of each country, which has been considerably reduced since 2017 by decision of the State Department under the pretext of health incidents reported by U.S. officials whose causes are still unknown.

Likewise, the document advocates the elimination of existing barriers that prevent Cuban academics and others from visiting the United States.

The text denounces that the blockade continues to cause hardship to the Cuban people by creating shortages and causing multi-million dollar losses; and it notes that bilateral trade is beneficial to both nations, particularly in food production, education, health, tourism, arts, music, biotechnology and medical research.

It also alludes to the fact that on December 17, 2014, the United States and Cuba agreed to establish diplomatic relations; and it mentions Trump’s decision to order new restrictions on business and travel to the neighboring country, along with the reduction of embassy personnel.

The resolution highlights the existence of many historical connections between the people of Saint Paul and the people of the Island, dating back to 1898, when the African-American community in that U.S. city organized several events to celebrate the West Indian territory’s struggle for independence from Spain.

It also highlights that on the northern staircase of the City Hall there is a bust of the Caribbean country’s National Hero, José Martí, with whom councilwomen Shane Noecker and Jane Prince, sponsors of the resolution, members of the Minnesota-Cuba Committee, and Cuban-Americans residing in the area of the twin cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, were photographed today.

The approval of this document was celebrated on Twitter by Miguel Fraga, first secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC: ‘Alto y claro: #UnblockCuba! Another city, more support!’, he wrote.

With the step taken by Saint Paul, a dozen North American cities have already passed resolutions of this type, including localities in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Montana and Pennsylvania, in besides the assemblies of several states.

(Taken from PL in Spanish)

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