Speaking at a press conference this week, Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Her Excellency Inés Fors Fernández said the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba for nearly six decades is the most unfair, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country.
She said “at current prices, damage accumulated during almost six decades of applying this policy have reached the figure of $138,843.4 million. Taking into account the depreciation of the dollar in regards to the price of gold on the international market, the blockade has caused harm quantifiable at over $922,630 million.”
“In this past year, tightening the blockade has continued to be the central pivot of US government policy towards Cuba, with ever more notable effects in its extraterritorial application,” said the Cuban Ambassador.
She pointed out that “the US Department of State has on three occasions expanded the “Restricted List of Cuban Entities and Sub-Entities”, object of additional sanctions to taxes due to the blockade regulations. This measure has caused considerable damage to the country’s economy because of its effects of intimidating the international business community.”
She noted that “on April 17th 2019, the US Department of State announced its decision to permit the possibility under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act to take judicial actions in US courts against Cuban enterprises or companies or against Cuban individuals or third countries that do business with properties nationalized in the 1960s. This decision ended the practice assumed since 1996 by earlier US governments and by President Trump himself in the first two years of his mandate, which suspended this possibility every six months.”
“Since the implementation of this decision, Cuba’s economic activities have been powerfully affected, especially Cuban relations with foreign trade operations and those dealing with foreign investments. No citizen or sector of the economy escapes the negative effects of this unilateral policy which hinders the development to which every country is entitled to construct in a sovereign manner,” she declared.
Added to the foregoing are the provisions of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department and of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Commerce Department to eliminate, as of June 5th 2019, the general permits for “people to people” group educational travel and the permits to non-commercial aircraft and passenger and recreational ships for temporary stays, including cruise ships. This measure, besides severely limiting travel by US citizens to Cuba, directly attacks the emerging Cuban private sector.
“All of these actions were made for the deliberate and declared objective of causing economic harm and depriving Cuba of financial resources,” the Cuban Ambassador declared.
The behaviour of the current United States government is an insult to the international community which has for 27 consecutive years condemned the blockade against Cuba within the framework of the United Nations. It ignores successive resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly and the declarations of the heads of State or Government of the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Group of 77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement, among other organizations that have demanded an end to the blockade against Cuba.
“The policy of blockade against Cuba continues to represent an impediment to the development of all the potential of the Cuban economy, for the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan, and for attaining Agenda 2030 and its objectives for Sustainable Development,” she said
“The blockade is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cuban men and women. Because of its declared aim and the political, legal and administrative framework upon which it is sustained, these sanctions qualify as an act of genocide according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 and as an act of economic warfare according to the Naval Conference of London of 1909. Moreover, it is in violation of the United Nations Charter and International Law.
The United States must, without any conditions, put an end to the unfair blockade which for nearly 60 years has been causing suffering to the Cuban people,” the Cuban Ambassador concluded.
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