Canadian Network on Cuba – LETTER RE: The Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Cuba, Recovering from Hurricane Ian
October 14th, 2022
Canadian Network on Cuba
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
LETTER RE: The Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Cuba, Recovering from Hurricane Ian
Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
The Canadian Network on Cuba, comprised of 23 organizations across Canada, is deeply concerned about the devastating effects of hurricane Ian on the small island of Cuba.
The economic sanctions by the United States are preventing Cuba from acquiring the necessary materials to rebuild and recuperate after the devasting Category 3 hurricane Ian, which destroyed much of the housing and infrastructure in its western provinces and caused temporary collapse of and permanent damage to Cuba’s aged Nation Electric System.
The United Nations considers Cuba a leader to emulate in hurricane preparedness, a “model in hurricane risk management”. Cuba is an example that the vulnerability of people can effectively be reduced with strong determination and the will to protect human lives, and their preparedness, loss prevention and response to hurricanes shows this. Simply compare that after hurricane Ian, just two lives were lost in Cuba, compared to in the United States, where so far more than a hundred people have died directly due to the disastrous hurricane.
This difference in mortality rate is staggering and demonstrates that the Cuban government is resolute in protecting its citizens despite a lack of material resources and the economic hardships imposed by the U.S. which they have faced for over 60 years.
Unfortunately, while people were relocated, protected, and saved, thousands of homes and infrastructure in blockaded Cuba have been obliterated by hurricane Ian. The arbitrary and immoral U.S. policy of sanctions against Cuba threaten companies around the world from doing business with Cuba, selling them construction materials, and providing aid, including some of the most basic goods and materials. These same policies make it very difficult or impossible for organizations to send aid to Cuba in a timely and efficient manner.
It is unconscionable for the United States government to collectively punish the Cuban people under even normal circumstances, let alone after a natural disaster such as hurricane Ian. The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) joins virtually the entire international community, once again, in the condemnation of the blockade, and calls for the government of Canada to demand that the United States immediately cease all the sanctions against Cuba.
We ask the Honourable Prime Minister to stand on the right side of history and that Canada not only vote against the genocidal blockade against Cuba at the UN General Assembly in November, but strongly speak out publicly against the United States’ policy on this issue, and demand that they remove all sanctions from the Cuban people once and for all.
We also appeal to the Canadian government to urgently send much needed humanitarian aid to its neighbour Cuba, with whom we have had friendly relations for decades, to assist with its rebuilding and construction efforts at this critical time.
The Canadian Network on Cuba, on behalf of its member organizations, stands with the Cuban people and affirm that we will always stand up for Cuba and provide any help that we can in the face of this imperative struggle for justice.
Co-Chairs, Canadian Network on Cuba
www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca Email: email@example.com