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Aleida Guevara says cost of U.S. blockade very high for people of Cuba, seeks global support

The daughter of ‘Che’ Guevara said essential items such as life-saving medicines and powdered milk are not being traded by the U.S. with her nation

January 25, 2023 01:40 am | Updated January 26, 2023 10:23 am IST - New Delhi

Aleida Guevara (second from right) and her daughter Estafania with Left party leaders D. Raja and  Sitaram Yechuri at an event Delhi on Tuesday.

Aleida Guevara (second from right) and her daughter Estafania with Left party leaders D. Raja and Sitaram Yechuri at an event Delhi on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Aleida Guevara, daughter of late Cuban revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, at an event here on Tuesday said the U.S. blockade on Cuba is “criminal and inhumane”, and sought global support to fight it.

Citing an example, Ms. Guevara said no company was ready to sell life-saving medicines for a five-year-old in Cuba due to the blockade, even though Cuba and its people had the money to buy them.

“A child is pushed into the mouth of death because he was born in a particular place. You can work with passion for your people, but cannot change the reality. We can change this reality only with solidarity and unity,” she said.

Talking about how to build unity, Ms. Guevara, said, “Remember a small line: respect for humanity. We all are the same. May be of different colour, culture, religion, or thought and beliefs. But we all take breath and need food to survive, and need dignity to live. So we are all the same.”

Elaborating on the effects of the blockade, she said every child and elderly person in Cuba gets a litre of milk daily, despite the nation’s low milk production. She asked, “America has a huge production of powdered milk, but doesn’t trade with Cuba. We have to respect that. But if another nation wants to sell to Cuba, should we accept America’s high handedness?”

She added that Cuba is forced to buy from far away New Zealand and the price goes up manifold due to the shipping cost. “But it doesn’t end there. The ship bringing to Cuba can’t go to any port in America for six months. So, ship owners will ask Cuba for their loss of earnings for six months.

“So, the cost of the blockade is very high for the people of Cuba. We are fighting against this blockade because it is criminal and inhumane,” she added.

“My hair may have turned white, but I still know how to use a gun like I did before. This has become a part of the life of the people of Cuba. We don’t like war, but we cannot talk about sovereignty until we get actual independence,” she said, talking about her nation’s struggle.

Ms. Guevara also said that the love people are giving her in India was very beautiful. “It feels really good to see that ‘Che’ has spread among so many people and become bigger.”

Speaking at the event, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said India’s policies “have become subordinate to America’s imperialism”, adding that “we should support Cuba”.

Noting that Cuba needs solidarity and support, CPI general secretary D. Raja said at the programme, “But what about the role of India in the present situation? That must be a matter of concern for all of us.”

Ms. Guevara and her daughter Estefania are in India for a nearly three-week trip on an invitation from the ‘National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba’, and have travelled to multiple states including Kerala and West Bengal.

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