H. Res. 760 was introduced in an effort to express solidarity with Cuban citizens ahead of the protests that are scheduled to take place on November 15 of this year. While it offers well-deserved criticism of the Cuban government’s acts of repression, it also continues to ignore the fundamental flaws of current U.S. policy towards Cuba and makes no significant effort to address these in a way that could have a substantial impact on the situation on the island as it stands today.
The resolution recalls the protests that took place in July, the repression that took place in response, and the calls for another round of demonstrations on November 15. It also acknowledges that “basic medicines and common goods have become scarce throughout the country and economists estimate Cuba’s economic conditions will become even worse in the coming months.” But while the resolution urges strong statements by the Biden-Harris administration on the right to protest, it doesn’t propose or support the concrete actions that the U.S. can and should take to respond to the humanitarian situation on the island.
The current humanitarian situation in Cuba continues to grow more dire amid the Covid-19 pandemic, decreased resources and medical supplies, increased repression in response to social unrest, and continued food and goods shortages. Countless groups, including WOLA, have called for concrete steps that could help address the most severe of these consequences, including measures such as:
It is important to pay close attention to the developments in Cuba and to uphold the rights of the Cuban people to peacefully protest, to demand political and economic change, and to be protected from any state-sponsored repression. At the same time, it is important to hold the U.S. government accountable for its lack of constructive action during the crisis. A more even handed resolution would have done that.