The Workers Party of Ireland condemns the recent declaration by the US government announcing severe economic sanctions against Cuba. After the Cuban Revolution the US National Security Council (NSC) considered means to overthrow the Revolution and to reverse its gains, including terrorism against Cuba and its citizens and economic, commercial, and financial restrictions on the country. The US blockade against Cuba, first introduced in 1962, already constitutes the longest economic sanctions against any country in history. It has been reinforced by several amendments and together with a host of other severe legislative measures it has been designed to expand the economic war against Cuba with the aim of overthrowing the Cuban government and reversing the achievements of the Revolution. Now, the aggressive imperialist US has confirmed that the US government will fully implement Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, allowing Cuban Americans to sue foreign companies with investments in any property nationalised after the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

The Helms-Burton Act which the US President, Bill Clinton, signed in March 1996 tightened and codified the US embargo against Cuba which had been designed to damage the Cuban economy and to harm the lives and living standards of the citizens of Cuba. This measure sought to massively extend and strengthen the US embargo against Cuba and to internationalise the illegal blockade by expanding the territorial application of the initial embargo to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba by allowing the US to extend sanctions and threats to other states. Title III of the Act provides for a private cause of action and authorises US nationals with claims to “confiscated property” in Cuba to file proceedings in US courts against persons that may be “trafficking” in that property.

For 23 years Title III of the Helms Burton Act had been suspended as a result of opposition from foreign governments. Now the US has stepped up its aggression against Cuba and, as in its attacks on Venezuela, is attempting to change the government and political and social system in Cuba by tightening the economic, commercial and financial blockade. This is an attack on the sovereignty of Cuba and other states engaged in trade with Cuba, aimed at depriving Cuba of the resources it requires to provide for its people and for its socio-economic development.

It is significant that this announcement took place at a time when revolutionaries across the world celebrate the great defeat of US imperialism in Latin America at Playa Girón or the Bay of Pigs when the Cuban people defeated the US-led mercenary invasion in 1961.

This announcement by the US is contrary to the provisions of both Cuban and international law. Law 80 of Reaffirmation of Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty, approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power, declared that the anti-Cuba legislation is illegal, inapplicable and lacks any legal value or effect. The United Nations General Assembly has on numerous occasions resolved, by overwhelming majority, in favour of respect for international law and compliance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter in relation to the illegal US embargo against Cuba.

These new measures are a further act of aggression designed to increase the threats and to deter foreign investment in Cuba and deprive the country of much needed resources.

The unjust and criminal blockade/embargo against Cuba must immediately end.
The Workers Party demands that the Irish government denounces this current threat and supports those who wish to positively engage with Cuba. It must recognise the right of Cuba to develop the full potential of its economy and its people and to engage in economic, trade and financial relations with the rest of the world.

The Workers Party will continue to stand in solidarity with Cuba, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people against US aggression.
Socialist Cuba will not surrender and will not be defeated.

Gerry Grainger

International Secretary

Workers Party of Ireland

April 2019