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Activist Group Calls For An End To Cuba Sanctions And Trade Embargo

Cuban Rally
Art Heitzer
The Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba
The Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba hold a rally.

This summer, protesters in Cuba have taken to the streets to demand the government provide basic goods and medical attention, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There were also calls for political change in a country governed by the Communist Party for some six decades. The Biden administration imposed new sanctions, which target Cuba’s National Revolutionary Police and its two leaders. The U.S. still enforces its nearly 60-year trade embargo with Cuba, which restricts goods from the U.S. being imported into Cuba.

The Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba will be holding a car caravan and rally through Milwaukee Sunday to raise awareness and stand against the decades-long embargo. This is one of the many car caravans being held across the country led by Cuban Americans to demand the end of the blockade on Cuba.

Art Heitzer is an attorney and one of the founders of The Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba. He says he hopes the rally in Milwaukee will bring attention to the issues in Cuba. "We realized in the U.S that no one really knew what our country was doing to Cuba...and that we had to do something," Heitzer explains.

The coalition was started in 1994 and has been active and growing ever since. Amada Morales is a Cuban American community activist and member of the coalition. She says the coalition helps her understand the relationship between her two nationalities. "Not a lot of people know about it, so being part of the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba, really helps educate me to understand exactly why this is happenings so I'm making an informed decision when I react to hearing all these things," Morales says.

The caravan rally will begin at 1 pm near the Mitchell Park Domes on Sunday and travel throughout the city.

"We in the U.S. and we in Milwaukee think it is our role and our responsibility to try to stop bringing about hunger and desperation to the people of Cuba. Let them... sort out their own problems and go their own way," Heitzer says.

Mallory Cheng joined WUWM as a producer for Lake Effect in 2021.
Kobe Brown is WUWM's Eric Von fellow.
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