Cuban visitor speaks Monday about U.S. moves against Cuba and how to strengthen ties with NZ

Press release by the NZ-Cuba friendship Society.

Leima Martinez Freire, the Asia Pacific Director of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) is visiting New Zealand, April 1 to 3. Martinez wants to bring to people’s attention the ongoing US economic embargo against Cuba.

The US government tightened sanctions against Cuba on Monday, March 4. The measure takes effect March 9 and allows lawsuits against some Cuban companies using properties confiscated after its 1959 revolution.

ICAP is a non-government organisation which organises activities to build ties between the Cuban people and others around the world.
The Washington Post explains, “Every president since Bill Clinton has suspended a section of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act that would allow such lawsuits.”

The US government is initially only allowing limited actions but is threatening to extend that further as the current suspension will expire after 30 days while most previous suspensions have lasted six months.

The Cuban government called that an “unacceptable threat against the world.”

Leima Martinez explains how the sanctions impact on the daily lives of people in Cuba. In New Zealand those wanting to help victims of a tornado that devastated parts of Havana at the end of January face obstacles with the largest bank, ANZ, refusing to handle any transactions for Cuba.

Public meeting: 7pm, Monday April 1 at the Auckland Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd.

Available for interviews: Auckland: Mon April 1, Tues until 10am April 2, contact: Fiona Taler of the Auckland Cuba Friendship Society Tel:09 620 9872 Mob:021 262 4999

Wellington after 1pm Tues April 2, and Weds April 3 to 1pm, contact, Cuban ambassador to New Zealand, Mario Alzugaray Mob: 021 709 010.

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