Latin America against Trump

Campaign News | Tuesday, 31 July 2018

On Friday 13 July, the Cuba Solidarity Campaign joined with other Latin America solidarity organisations, communities and migrants groups to form a Latin America bloc on the Together Against Trump demonstration which saw more than 250,000 march in London.

CSC staff, volunteers and supporters carried Cuban flags, banners calling for the end of the blockade and a ‘Trump Hands off Cuba’ banner, specially made for the event, while handing out leaflets about Trumps aggressive ‘regime change’ policies in Cuba and Latin America. The bloc, accompanied with a sound system playing regional music including Cuban classics ‘Guantánamera’ and ‘Comandante Ché Guevara’ was one of the most vibrant on the national demonstration against Trump’s visit.

A few days earlier on Monday 9 July, CSC jointly organised a Latin America against Trump rally in London to build for the march.

The rally took place at Hamilton House, headquarters of the NEU (NUT Section). The union’s president, Kiri Tunks, welcomed guests to meeting and said: “We will show Trump on Friday that he is very unwelcome here. The NEU celebrates immigrants and celebrates refugees - refugees are welcome here.”

She highlighted women’s rights in Cuba and criticised President Trump “for attacking women’s reproductive rights” in the US and overseas.

Arturo Rodriguez, general secretary of Cuban Industrial Workers’ trade union said "We never expect anything from the government of the United States."

He reminded the audience that US intervention in Cuba and Latin America was a long history.

“The US attempted to kill Fidel over 600 times - but he lived until he was 90 years old!” he joked.

"Over 70 per cent of the Cuban population were born after the triumph of the Revolution and have lived under US blockade all their lives since.

“The blockade is still there, and Trump has made stronger”, the general secretary said.

“We've always had a lot of faith in victory- we will continue to construct our socialism. No force on earth can crush the power of truth and ideas”, he said.

Chairing the rally, Unite Assistant Chief of Staff Adrian Weir reminded people that Trump’s visits provided an opportunity for “Latin American communities and campaigns to come together and send a message that his policies of war, destabilisation, racism, contempt for LGBT+ rights and the environment, and hatred are not welcome.”

Lupita Valdés from Justice Mexico Now gave an update on the huge human rights abuses and tens of thousands of people who have disappeared in the last decade in Mexico. But there is now optimism for change in Mexico, she said, and congratulated ‘AMLO’ - Andrés Manuel López Obrador - on his recent emphatic presidential victory.

Rocio Maniero, Venezuelan ambassador noted how "Trump has tightened the US blockade of Cuba and introduced sanctions on Venezuela and Nicaragua."

Nicaraguan ambassador, Guisell Morales-Echaverry, reminded people that the US “has been blockading Cuba for 60 years… they attacked Nicaragua in the 80s and again now, and have been attacking Venezuela for the last 5 years or more.”

“This isn’t just about what’s happening with Trump and the United States,” said Lindsey German, Stop the War convenor. “It’s also about what is happening here and happening in Europe. It was the British government that sent vans around immigrant communities here saying ‘Go Home’. We have our own hostile environment here that we have seen in the Windrush scandal.”

“But the Latin Americans know first-hand about the danger of Trump. He’s threatened invasion of Venezuela. He’s called Latin American migrants animals. We need to respond to say that we don’t want this hate in our politics. We need to show him that he is not welcome here,” she added.

Chris Williamson MP gave an inspirational closing speech to the rally: “The demo on Friday is an opportunity to stand up to a bully and for dignity in Latin America. We can show the living form of solidarity by turning out in huge numbers”

“The United Kingdom doesn't welcome despots like Trump. We need to give him a visit to remember, in all the wrong ways!” the Labour MP said.

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