For six decades the United States of America has imposed an embargo (el bloqueo in Spanish) on Cuba. Separated by less than 200 kilometres, this action by the world’s largest economy has heavily restricted Cuba’s commercial, economic and financial options. The embargo has also shaped modern Cuba’s uniqueness as a country and provided the totalitarian Cuban government with a convenient (and sometimes legitimate) bogeyman to blame. During our Cuba visit, Rocío and I saw several examples of anti-blockade propaganda.
The Romerillo neighbourhood of Havana’s Playa suburb has free wifi internet thanks to artist Kcho. The sign listing the network details includes a picture of a giant evil-looking Uncle Sam, representing the United States, surrounding Cuba. Below the artwork are paragraphs stating the damage done by the embargo and a plea to end it.
Elsewhere in Havana, someone had hand-copied a similar picture containing English-language commentary. The poster-copier was obviously not fluent in English, mistaking “LIFT” for “UFT”.
The anti-embargo propaganda sometimes portrayed the movement as wasps, an avispero (wasp’s nest) swarming against the blockade.
A poster at a Havana school went further, illustrating the anti-embargo movement as a giant wast breaking a construction block (representing the blockade) with its sting.
Although I am not sympathetic to the Cuban government, I think the current embargo is pointless, hurts Cubans and should be lifted.