NYC council members introduce resolution against blockade of Cuba
New York City Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Inez Barron at the Oct. 17 press conference unveiling their resolution against the blockade of Cuba. | Gary Bono / PW

NEW YORK—On the steps of City Hall on Oct. 17, City Council representatives Inez Barron, Ydanis Rodriguez, and Jimmy Van Bremer announced the introduction of a council resolution calling for an end to the economic blockade and travel bans imposed by the U.S. federal government on Cuba. In addition to members of the media, a crowd of Cuba solidarity activists were in attendance at the 9 a.m. press conference, which began with a rousing call to end the blockade.

In opening remarks, Barron read from the resolution, to which she added her own heartfelt appeal to the U.S. federal government. She called for the lifting of what the government calls the “embargo” and the elimination of regulations that hamper U.S. citizens from visiting the island.

She pointed out that a clear majority of the world’s nations, as well as a majority of citizens in the U.S., oppose the blockade and said that ending it would be good for everybody. The blockade is detrimental to the economies of both Cuba and the U.S., she said, arguing that lifting it would serve as an economic stimulus.

Speaking in English and in Spanish, Rodriguez mentioned the progress that was made several years ago to improve U.S.-Cuba relations and ease the restrictions. He expressed the hope that, rather than returning to the days when harsh measures were imposed, progress would continue.

Rodriguez has been a long-time champion of solidarity with Cuba and, in an earlier statement said, “We need to end this archaic Cold War-era embargo that has impacted the people, not the government as [was] its original intent. We must end the Cuban embargo and travel ban now!“

At the close of the event, Barron said the resolution would be formally introduced later that day and that the process of reaching out to other members of the council to get them on board would begin immediately.


Gary Bono
Gary Bono

Gary Bono is an activist and retired transit worker writing from New York.