Making a stand

From left, Xavier Kraebel, Kamryn Stringfield and Ezra Huebner demonstrate against the U.S. embargo in Cuba.

A small group of demonstrators took to the street Saturday to urge the United States to end the decades-long embargo against Cuba.

At noon, four people lined up on the Coos Bay Boardwalk holding signs against the U.S. action they say has led to unnecessary suffering.

Xavier Krabel was representing the Movement for People’s Democracy, and he said he wasn’t standing up to support the Communist regime in Cuba, but the people who are suffering. He said the United States needs to let other countries fix their problems, listing off time and time U.S. intervention has led to bigger problems.

“I think we have no business getting involved,” he said. “Look at hour our involvement has played out in history. Historically, when we’ve gotten involved in other countries, it’s the same story.”

Kamryn Stringfield organized the demonstration, saying American imperialism is hurting people in Cuba and across the globe.

“We’re out here standing against the embargo against Cuba,” she said. “It’s a genocide that’s causing Cuba a lot of suffering. We’re standing against the imperialism against Cuba.”

Stringfield said she wanted to get involved because people need to stand up when they see something bad happening.

“We believe we’re in solidarity, having solidarity for people around the world,” she said. “We know our protest won’t have a lot of difference, but we think it’s powerful for the people of Cuba to see people stand up for them.”

Krabel said the small group was not pushing a political ideology, saying the embargo has continued through both Republican and Democrat leadership. He said the goal was to urge the United States to take a step back, especially in Cuba.

Demonstrating in a more conservative community was not expected to be popular with all, but Stringfield and Krabel said it was necessary.

“I think rural America is an area that progressive movement as a whole has written off and alienated,” Krabel said. “Personally, I think that’s a mistake.”

As the group held their signs, several people stopped by to ask questions. Some driving by honked their horns, while other yelled insults. Krabel said his goal was to get people talking and thinking.

“We’ve never really made things much better when we’ve got involved,” he said. “This is something that should concern everybody because it impacts every life.”

Ezra Huebner came to the demonstration to show her solidarity with the Cuban people.

“Cuba’s economy and people should not be decimated by the embargo posted on them by every American administration,” she said. “It’s as simple as that.”

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