Activists from the United States and Canada gathered to participate in a meeting to show solidarity and condemn the United States' continued blockade against Cuba.
The aim of the meeting, which was held over two days in New York, was to highlight a need for the normalization of ties between Cuba and the United States. The advocates are pushing for the relaxation of the economic, commercial and financial sanctions that have been imposed on the Caribbean island by the U.S. for more than half a century.
Ike Nahem, one of the organizers of the event, told the Prensa Latina news agency that there cannot be normalization with those restrictions still in place. Nahem also fingered the occupation of Cuba's Guantanamo by the U.S. Naval Base as a point of contention. Nahem added that the meeting is expected to address the support for initiatives in the U.S. Congress that will remove the restrictions placed on the island as well as U.S. citizens who plan to travel there.
Andres Gomez, national coordinator of the Brigade Antonio Maceo, described the meeting in New York as an important event for reiterating the commitment to fight against the sanctions. “From the brigade, which will turn 40; and from the Alianza Martiana, a coalition of Cuban immigration organizations supporting the revolutionary process since 1959; we support the normalization of ties. But firstly, the blockade must end,” he said.
Activist Brother Chep – from the organization Cuba Si – singled out the importance of lifting the U.S.-imposed blockade against Cuba as a key step to promoting the normalization of relations between the two nations.