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Women in Cuba

The U.S. embargo on Cuba is causing great harm to Cuban women who are simply trying to feed and protect their families. A 2021 report by Oxfam shows that women in Cuba carry the heaviest burden of sustaining daily life and that the U.S. embargo causes material shortages, increases their stress, lowers their quality of life, and limits their opportunities.

Donation of menstrual cups

At CODEPINK we partnered with the group Poderosxs in Cuba to help promote sexual and reproductive health in vulnerable communities. To this end, several workshops have been held to explain to women about menstrual hygiene and the freedom of the female body. During the workshop, the participants, mostly black women in vulnerable communities, are given a menstrual cup donated by CODEPINK. The space is created with the objective of empowering them, from the practice of sharing experiences, tools, but above all by giving them the option to decide what is best for their bodies.

We have planned several workshops throughout 2022. So far two have been held with the help of independent initiatives. One in the Juanelo neighborhood and the other in Fernanda. Both in the municipality of San Miguel del Padrón. In these meetings menstrual cups donated by CODEPINK have been distributed. Four events are planned for the month of March and April. Two in the municipality of Guanabacoa, a third in Centro Habana and a fourth in Marianao.

Check out more photos here

Listen to the Women "Actionar".

During President Biden’s campaign, he promised he would move to undo Trump’s harmful sanctions and normalize relations. So far, he has done nothing but apply more sanctions! The Cuban people are suffering, especially during the pandemic. Join us in pressuring women leaders in the U.S to end the inhumane blockade on the island.

Listen to these three amazing women:

Yadira Escobar: Yadira Escobar is a young Cuban-born activist based in Florida. She is a political analyst for various news outlets. A free-lance journalist, radio producer and host, she is a frequent CNN commentator.
She ran for election to the U.S. House to represent Florida's 25th Congressional District. 

Liz Oliva Fernandez: Liz Oliva Fernandez is a Cuban journalist and lead protagonist of Belly of the Beast's documentary series 'The War on Cuba'. Fernández and her work with Belly of the Beast provide an honest ground-level approach to the impacts of the U.S blockade on the people of Cuba. Watch the documentary series ’The War on Cuba’ on YouTube.

Sandra Soca Lozano: Sandra is a Cuban graduate research associate pursuing a PhD in School Psychology. Sandra taught classes of Health Psychology and Family Psychology for 8 years at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Havana. She was also a People's Power delegate in Cuba from 2013 to 2016. She recently joined the pilgrimage from Miami to Washington, DC to end the US blockade on Cuba. 

The U.S. embargo on Cuba is causing great harm to Cuban women who are simply trying to feed and protect their families during a terrible pandemic. A recent report by Oxfam shows that women in Cuba carry the heaviest burden of sustaining daily life and that the U.S. embargo causes material shortages, increases their stress, lowers their quality of life, and limits their opportunities.  

Yet instead of working to ease the embargo, the Biden administration and many Democrats seem content to maintain Trump’s cruel policy of maximum pressure, including restrictions on even sending remittances back home. Imagine the U.S. government telling Cuban Americans that they are not allowed to send money to their relatives in Cuba who are coping with a pandemic? It’s disgraceful. 

The Trump administration imposed 243 new sanctions on Cuba, and President Biden himself applied even more sanctions on Cuba in the past weeks. These measures have significantly deepened a Covid-induced economic crisis, leading to shortages and long lines to purchase food and everyday goods. The burden is falling on Cuban women to keep their families fed and healthy. We cannot sit by while U.S. policy, whether implemented by Trump or Biden, causes hardship for millions of Cuban families. 

Ask First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to tell President Biden to follow Obama, not Trump, by lifting restrictions on remittances, travel and other policies that hurt Cuban families.

Why have we focused on these three Democrats? Dr. Jill Biden visited Cuba at the tail end of the Obama administration to deepen ties with the Cuban people as the two countries enjoyed their closest relations in sixty years. Vice President Harris has been focusing on immigration and one of the key demands of Cuban Americans is being able to reunite their families. Speaker Pelosi controls the agenda in Congress and could introduce a bill to end the Trump sanctions. 

Dr. Jill Biden greets the residents of downtown Camaguey, Cuba, Oct. 8, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Since the protests in Cuba on July 11, the White House and many powerful Democrats have been too eager to appease right-wing Cuban Americans. Instead of listening to Trump’s base, they should listen to their own base and the vast majority of Americans who are against the embargo and supported the Obama administration’s approach of normalizing relations with Cuba. Most importantly, they should place the well-being of Cuban women and families above domestic electoral politics. 

It’s disappointing that these powerful women haven’t spoken up in defense of Cuban families. In the case of Speaker Pelosi, she actually blocked an amendment that would have lifted the Trump ban on remittances! At CODEPINK, we’re going to keep pushing to end this brutal economic war against the Cuban people.

Tell Jill Biden, Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi to help lift the embargo and let Cuba live!