(Harare, April 6, 2020) Via Campesina calls for the defense of humanist principles as an essential component to work in solidarity and unity during the COVID-19 crisis. In this context, the movement also denounces even more all imperialistic practices of interference from the United States. We believe it is urgent to put an end to the economic blockade, the political persecution, and the dirty campaign against Cuba and Venezuela. These nations need concrete conditions to respond, in sovereignty, to the needs of their peoples effectively and timely, safeguarding in every way life in dignified conditions. The blockade prevents them from having proper access to the resources and supplies needed to face the coronavirus crisis in the best possible way.
The current COVID-19 capitalist pandemic has revealed the ghost of a “system in crisis,” a perverse, unequal, and unjust system that continues seeking profit and oppressing the working classes and most vulnerable populations in the world, further worsening living conditions and threatening the survival of human life. In stark contrast, the solidarity and humanist character of the Cuban government and the Cuban revolution has immediately deployed “Cuban Medical Brigades” to help other nations regardless of nationalities or borders. The Brigades also reached Italy, currently the country with the highest number of cases in Europe, to assist in solidarity during the global struggle against the pandemic.
While States and organized sectors worldwide focus on the coronavirus crisis, we, as La Via Campesina, draw attention to the growing threat of this crisis being exploited for economic, political and even military purposes, by justifying the excessive use of violence, attacking democratic processes and even creating a climate of war and death and taking coercive and completely illegal measures against peoples.
In that sense, we denounce as a crime against humanity the persecution by the United States of planes and ships that try to bring medicines and other medical supplies for Venezuela and Cuba during this crisis. Therefore, we call upon the world to denounce these perverse and genocidal practices, and upon the States to exert pressure to urgently put an end to the blockades and international attacks against these two nations. These nations need to be able to ensure the availability of food and medicine on time, and it would allow compliance with the protocols to detect and control possible cases of COVID-19 infections in the populations.
Finally, as La Via Campesina, we reaffirm the importance of unity of the peoples, beyond the States, to emerge victorious from this crisis. We say #StayHomeButNotSilent, and in this way, we will build together the new society that we hope for and need, one that gives centrality to life and not to profit. Just as the Cuban people and the Bolivarian Revolution have taught us, not only these days but throughout history, we continue to resist with solidarity, internationalism, and respect for human dignity and life.
Globalize the Struggle, Globalize Hope!
Photo 1: Peasants from Venezuela and Cuba and their Agroecological productions in the struggle for Food Sovereignty, guaranteeing healthy food for their peoples. 2. Cuban Medical Brigades.