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Government must build international co-operation with Cuba, 57 MPs demand

THE government must build international co-operation with Cuba and lobby US President Joe Biden to end the blockade and sanctions against the Cuban people, a cross-party group of MPs has urged.

Fifty-seven Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green, SDLP and DUP MPs, as well as several independents, have signed an early day motion in the Commons calling for government intervention against the blockade, approaching its 60th year.

It has been condemned by the United Nations General Assembly in 28 consecutive votes.

In 2019, 183 countries supported a motion to end the blockade, with just three against. The next vote is on June 23.

The blockade is affecting Cuba’s ability to vaccinate its population of 11.3 million against Covid-19.

All-party parliamentary group on Cuba chairman Grahame Morris, the Labour MP for Easington, tabled the motion.

Mr Morris said: “The US blockade of Cuba has cost the Cuban economy billions of dollars and causes shortages in essential services including health and education.

“I welcome the fact that the British government has worked closely with Cuba on joint projects through the pandemic and hope that such co-operation will encourage President Biden to normalise relations by reversing the ludicrous designation of Cuba as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ and ending the blockade.”

Cuba Solidarity Campaign director Rob Miller said: “It is heartening to see so many MPs here supporting the campaign against the US blockade.

“We would urge the British government to take concrete steps to support British companies wishing to trade with Cuba and stand up to US bullying on this matter.”

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