Over 150 people alongside a number of parliamentarians – crammed into a packed meeting at the House of Commons to hear an inspirational talk by Aleida Guevara, daughter of Ché Guevara. She spoke about her father, the ongoing blockade of Cuba and the Miami Five’s continuing struggle for justice.
On the blockade, Aleida said that Cuba understands the America’s “right not to trade with us, but what is unacceptable is that the US tries to stop other countries from trading with us”. Denying Cuba the right to trade with its closest neighbour significantly increases the cost of imports and means that Cuba often has to travel around the world to do business with third countries.
“We have to go all the way to New Zealand to get powered milk for our children, and you can imagine how expensive this is. To go all that way, we have to charter a ship – but blockade legislation means that any ship that goes to Cuba is prevented from docking in any American port for 6 months. So ship owners will often charge us three times as much.”
“Since the blockade has not been enough to destroy the unity of the Cuban people and the revolutionary process, the US administration has tried a mixture of military and biological warfare against Cuba,” said Aleida. Furthermore, Cuban-Americans in Florida have been used to undermine Cuba’s sovereign government.