July 14th, 2021
Statement from the NPD on the situation in Cuba
Jack Harris, NDP critic for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement:
"As the people of Cuba take to the streets to protest the lack of access to basic necessities, including food and medicine, New Democrats affirm our support for the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and assembly and renew our call to end the US embargo of Cuba that has led to shortages of essential goods.
For decades Cubans have suffered untold hardship as a result of the US embargo on Cuba, which is unfair and needs to end. As a friend of both the US and Cuba, Canada can and must play a more active role in putting the necessary pressure on the US to finally end their sanctions on Cuba.
Despite calls from the UN to wave all international sanctions during the COVID-19 pandemic, former US President Trump placed additional sanctions on Cuba in January 2021, further restricting access to fuel, medical supplies and humanitarian assistance. While countries around the world struggle to keep up with the devastating impact of COVID-19, the unilateral trade embargo has exacerbated the burden on Cuba’s health care system and economy. This has caused the people significant suffering and according to a recent Oxfam Canada report, has had a disproportionate impact on women.
In April 2020, I wrote a letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister calling on the Government of Canada to call on the US to ease their embargo on Cuba and allow all medical supplies and humanitarian assistance into the country. Yet, the Liberal Government has remained silent on the issue."