COSATU supports Cuba ahead of the UN General Assembly vote on Cuba’s resolution on ending the economic embargo imposed by the USA

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) expresses unwavering solidarity with the people and government of Cuba ahead of the annual resolution on the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America (USA) against Cuba” which will be voted on in the General Assembly at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York on the 23rd of June 2021.

COSATU strongly condemns the unjustifiable US embargo against Cuba, waged as an economic war and general fascination of persecution. The federation notes that at the very core of the embargo is the intention to deprive the Cuban people of their socio-economic rights and put them in dire need of basic items, leading to social unrest and a rise against their revolutionary government.

Cuba is a Marxist–Leninist state par excellence. The state has been instrumental in providing free healthcare, education, low-cost transportation and housing for its people. However, under the current circumstances, the Cuban people cannot freely and actively participate in the global economy. This is crippling the Cuban economy as it is an obstacle for development and growth – and the primary hindrance in Cuba’s implementation of Agenda 2030 on sustainable development. COSATU reverberates the message from the international community that this systematic violation of human rights qualifies as an act of genocide by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. It contravenes the United Nations (UN) Charter and international law and constitutes an obstacle for international cooperation. Even under the new Biden Administration, the current US policy towards Cuba not only enforces but intensifies the embargo, ignoring the majority support of the international community to lift the embargo and the normalisation of Cuba-US relations.

Cuba’s contributions to advancing and defending human rights extend beyond the geographical boundaries of the island nation. Since its inception, the Cuban Revolution has made – and continues to make – an invaluable contribution to the global struggle for human rights, justice, social development and human dignity. Cuba has established an unparalleled legacy of internationalism and humanitarianism, embodying the immortal words of José Martí: “Homeland is Humanity, Humanity is Homeland”. In the struggle to defeat the racist apartheid regime in South Africa, more than 2000 Cubans gave their lives. This has not been – nor will ever be – forgotten by Africans. The late Nelson Mandela stated: “The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom and justice, unparalleled for its principled and selfless character. Cubans came to our region as doctors, teachers, soldiers, agricultural experts, but never as colonisers”.

In this context, COSATU reaffirms its call for an end to the unilateral economic, commercial and financial blockade and urges the US Government to reconsider its policies towards Cuba.

In line with this, and against the criminal blockade by the US government against Cuba, COSATU and her affiliates, in collaboration with the Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS), members of the alliance, and the broader progressive movement will join in a motorcade to the US Embassy in Pretoria where a memorandum will be handed to the US Ambassador.

Motorcade Details:

Date: Sunday 20th June 2021

Motorcade leaving from: The Pretoria Art Museum in Arcadia

Time:11:00 – 13:00

For any additional information or media queries, kindly contact Zanele Matebula (Deputy International Secretary) on 082 300 8979 or Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni (International Secretary) on 072 535 1577.

We call on all workers, activists, internationalists and justice-loving people in the world to join us and amplify the voice of the Cuban struggle as we fight for their right to self-determination and independence.


Issued by COSATU

Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni

International Secretary

COSATU Head Office

Tel:  011 339 4911 |  Cell: 072 535 1577

Email: so…