The Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign and the Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign jointly welcome the release of the three remaining Miami Five prisoners unjustly held by the United States for the past sixteen years. This act demonstrates the effectiveness of the world-wide campaign for their release and the efforts of the Cuban government, with the assistance of Pope Francis, to restore diplomatic relations with the US. At the same time the illegal US trade embargo against Cuba continues. Despite repeated condemnation by the United Nations, this penalises all countries and companies that seek to trade with Cuba.
We also note and condemn the Bill passed by the US Congress this week placing new sanctions on Venezuela in addition to those imposed earlier in the year. Like the trade blockade on Cuba, these sanctions seek use economic warfare against people – in this case worsening the already serious impact of the fall in oil prices on Venezuela’s main export. We call on Scottish MSPs and MPs and all trade union and progressive organisations to call on the British government to oppose these sanctions and to step up the demand for an end to the US trade embargo on Cuba.
Cuba and Venezuela have demonstrated that another world is possible. Health and education are universal free benefits for all. Highly trained workers freely offer their skills and resources to countries in need including Pakistan, Haiti, and currently during the Ebola crisis.
Our Scottish solidarity work is enormously heartened by the good news but given a clear mandate to continue our efforts by the ongoing challenges.
Please ensure that your membership of both vital organisations is current and that all your networks are linked to our campaigns and updates. If not, please sign up as soon as possible and contact us for any assistance.
Our solidarity work has made a difference, with motions debated in Scottish Parliament, our welcome to speakers from Cuba and Venezuela including family of Miami 5, our support for brigades and delegations, our stalls at conferences and events, and our joint work with all sectors of Scottish civic society including the Arts, Students, Faith Groups, and more.
The struggle continues, and whilst we celebrate the reunion of the Miami 5 with their loved ones in Cuba, we deplore the ongoing sanctions and hostilities towards the working people of two sovereign nations that are not USA's backyard.
Phil McGarry - Chair, Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
Vicky Grandon - Chair, Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign