Cuban Propaganda Against the United States Embargo

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.

UJC sticker on wall in Old Havana

Young Communist League (UJC) sticker on wall in Old Havana stating yo voto vs bloqueo (I vote against the embargo)

Santiago de Cuba Las Santiagueras anti-blockade sign

Santiago de Cuba anti-embargo sign; las santiagueras is a nickname for Santiago de Cuba locals

Anti-embargo billboard claiming genocide on side of Havana highway

Anti-embargo billboard on side of Havana highway with noose around Cuba claiming the embargo is responsible for the longest genocide in history

Anti-blockade slogan on CDR meeting notice stuck to Havana door

This Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) meeting notice stuck to a Havana door ends with an anti-embargo slogan. The slogan has a typo and should read: ¡Abajo el bloqueo! – Down with the embargo!

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.

Blockade art and detail on Kcho free wifi sign in the Romerillo neighbourhood of Havana's Playa suburb

Anti-embargo art and writing on artist Kcho’s free wifi sign in the Romerillo neighbourhood of Havana’s Playa suburb

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”.

Uft the Embargo - hand-drawn poster in Havana

Uft the Embargo! Uft the Embargoooo!!!! – hand-drawn anti-embargo poster in Havana

The anti-embargo propaganda sometimes portrayed the movement as wasps, an avispero (wasp’s nest) swarming against the blockade.

Federation of University Students anti-blockade sticker in Santiago de Cuba

Federation of University Students anti-blockade sticker in Santiago de Cuba

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.

Anti-blockade notice on school noticeboard in Havana

Anti-blockade notice on school noticeboard in Havana

Although I am not sympathetic to the Cuban government, I think the current embargo is pointless, hurts Cubans and should be lifted.

3 thoughts on “Cuban Propaganda Against the United States Embargo

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