On Thursday, the national secretariat of the Federation of Cuban Women, FMC, released a statement responding to a series of threats made by U.S. President Donald Trump against the socialist-run island.
The letter opened with an unequivocal statement: “We cannot remain silent in the face of such ignorance,” adding shortly thereafter that Trump, in pursuit of several political policies, “is violating the human rights of the Cuban people.”
They stated that the reinforcement of the decades-long blockade on the island “constitutes an act of political aggression against the Cuban people, including women, children, and adolescents, in its aim to make their daily lives more difficult.”
In a speech at the Manuel Artime Theater in Miami last Friday, Trump outlined his hardline policy on Cuba.
“Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and for the United States of America. We don’t want U.S. dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba,” Trump said, pledging that U.S. sanctions would not be lifted until Cuba frees so-called “political prisoners” and holds free elections.
Recognizing human rights abuses in the United States, Cuban women cited Charleena Lyles, a pregnant Black woman who was shot and killed by two police officers in Seattle earlier this week. The killing, according to the FMC, added to “the rising number of Blacks killed at the hands of the U.S. police force.”
“What moral right does the U.S. President have to lecture Cuba about human rights?” the women asked.
The FMC stated that one only needs to observe the amount of financing devoted to “health, education, and social security programs, among others, to understand the deeply humanist dimension of our Revolution.”
They added that the Trump administration needs to read up on the Maceo-Grajales family to “discover the mettle of which our nation is forged.”
Born in 1815, Mariana Grajales was an Afro-Cuban mother who operated a rebel mountain settlement and bush hospital during the revolutionary struggle against Spanish colonialism. Independence hero Jose Marti witnessed firsthand how she entered the battlefield to rescue and treat wounded revolutionaries. She's called the “Mother of the Nation.”
Her son, Antonio Maceo Grajales, was second-in-command of the Cuban army of independence. He was nicknamed by compatriots as “The Bronze Titan” and by Spanish colonizers as “The Greater Lion.” He died in battle in 1896.
The Grajales, an Afro-Cuban family led by Mariana, serve as an iconic symbol of Cuban independence and the strength of the nation's women.