News Release

Biden Escalates Cuba Sanctions, Reneges on Campaign Promise


During the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden said he would “go back” to the Barack Obama policy of engagement with Cuba, but late last week, rather than easing the additional sanctions Donald Trump put on Cuba, he added even more of his own.

Said Biden: “This is just the beginning — the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people.”

Early has visited Cuba many times over 45 years. He is the former Smithsonian Institution assistant secretary for education and public service and was director of its Cultural Heritage Policy Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He is currently a board member at the Institute for Policy Studies — see his articles on Cuba and socialism on their website.

Early positively noted the recent statement from Black Lives Matter on Cuba.

He said today: “More sanctions is another step into deepening draconian Trump Cuba policy, another step into betrayal of Biden-Harris Cuba campaign policy, which attracted many progressive and democratic socialist votes in line with large public support to renew the progress of Barack Obama-Raul Castro full diplomatic relations. It’s a blatant unilateral dismissal of the overwhelming global UN vote to dismantle the embargo, further highlighting the U.S. as a ‘rogue state.’ Expansion of sanctions on individual governance figures does not give relief to the Cuban people and encourages the U.S. Cuban interventionist rightwing in South Florida who are pushing Biden-Harris further into 60 years of failed Cuba diplomacy.” Early argued that Biden’s actions indicated “that progressive voters should seek alternative candidates in 2022 and 2024 that will keep promises” to voters and supporters and back “policies to dismantle sanctions and the embargo and join the rest of the world in working out differences with Cuba through legal UN accords.”

Last month, 184 countries called for an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba, with only the U.S. and Israel voting in the negative.

Monday morning, the U.S. State Department released a statement with several other countries including Israel, Kosovo, Brazil, Colombia and Ukraine joining in condemning the Cuban government’s treatment of protesters. “They exercised universal freedoms of expression and assembly, rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” the statement read. In fact, the U.S. government is in constant transgression against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”