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SCORES of solidarity activists rallied to defend the Cuban embassy in London today as rightwingers staged an anti-socialist protest.
US-backed counter-revolutionaries called protests around the world for today and tomorrow, and a handful turned up at the embassy, at one point trying to rush it. But their way was barred by the larger solidarity demo.
Socialists chanted “Hands off Cuba – end the blockade” as the blockade supporters pointed megaphones, with “Made in USA” labels attached, in their faces through police lines, yelling: “Assassins!”
One woman patrolled just behind the police, throwing liquid from a bottle at the solidarity demonstrators.
Cuba Solidarity Campaign director Rob Miller told the crowd – replete with Cuban flags and trade union banners, including that of RMT Paddington No 1 branch – that the US was seeking to exploit protests that took place over the summer caused by shortages as a result of its own illegal blockade.
“But as we can see from the numbers today, we are many, they are few,” he said — “and that’s the same in Cuba, where millions rallied to defend the revolution after the US-orchestrated protests.”
Adrian Weir of the Unite union said resisting the blockade was about “the right to self-determination,” and said there was an urgent humanitarian need to end it.
“Tightening the blockade has meant that even though Cuba has developed its own Covid-19 vaccine, it lacked the means to deliver it — no syringes.”
Alex Gordon, speaking for the Communist Party, pointed out that “millions of State Department dollars” were funnelled into anti-Cuba activities and at undermining other left governments in the region including Nicaragua’s, with social media giants like Twitter and Facebook acting to censor socialist voices by suspending and deleting pro-Cuba and Nicaragua accounts.
The crowd cheered as a car with the numberplate “Fidel” cruised past, honking its horn. But the anti-Cuba activists continued to try to drown out the speakers, including by holding aloft a sound system blaring out loud music just behind police lines.
The National Education Union sent greetings, and the demo was addressed by speakers from the Young Communist League, Indian Workers’ Association, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group, Cubans in the UK and the Morning Star.
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