CUBA suffers US5-billion dollar loss due to US economic blockade

Capitol City Havana, Cuba

KINGSTON,  Jamaica May 12, 2021 - As the government of Cuba continues its campaign in the United Nations against the sixty year old economic blockade imposed by the United States against that country, Cuba says the blockade has caused losses to Cuba by an estimated USD 5,570,300,000, from April 2019 to March 2020.

In a report by the Cuban government on resolution 74/7 of the United Nations General Assembly, the Caribbean country stressed the "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba." 

At current prices, the accumulated damage over almost six decades of implementation of this policy amounts to USD 144,413,400,000. Taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold on the international market, the blockade has caused quantifiable damages of over USD 1,098,008,000,000. This value represents a growth of 19 percent over the previous period, as a result of the increase in the price of gold by 18.3 percent.

According to the report, the period from April 2019 to March 2020, marked a serious setback in the bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States and a progressive tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.

“During this period, the U.S. government reinforced the blockade against Cuba until it reached unprecedented levels of aggressiveness. There were around 90 coercive economic actions and measures imposed by the United States Government against Cuba, with the intention of intervening in the country’s internal affairs and in clear violation of the freedom of international trade and navigation,” the report said.

cruise ship cuba920cruise ship cuba920“Of this total, about half were concrete actions of blockade, which included fines and other types of sanctions against U.S. or third country entities, insertion of Cuban companies in unilateral lists, extension of laws and proclamations on the blockade, announcements related to the implementation of Titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act and regulatory changes. Another group of measures evidenced the extraterritorial implementation of the blockade or corresponded to State Department decisions against our country,” said the Cuban government.

The report to the United Nations pointed out that “the extraterritorial dimension of this policy has been brutally intensified with the full implementation of the Helms-Burton Act since May 2019. This legislation is an affront to the principles of international law and international trade rules, while it provides for economic pressure actions that are harmful to the sovereignty of Cuba and third countries,” it pointed out.

“Other measures implemented by the US government which proved severely damaging to the Cuban economy during this period included the increased persecution of Cuba’s financial and commercial transactions; a siege to deprive the country of fuel supplies as well as the ban on flights from the U.S. to Cuban provinces outside Havana and a campaign to discredit Cuban medical cooperation programs.

“Particularly alarming are the five packages of measures adopted in 2019 to monitor and impose punitive measures against companies, ships and shipping companies that transport fuel to Cuba.

In this regard, illegitimate sanctions were imposed against 27 companies, 54 vessels and 3 individuals linked to the sector, none of them of U.S. origin, or subject to the jurisdiction of that country.

The Cuban government lamented that “these aggressive actions by the U.S. government are a qualitative leap in the intensification and implementation of non-conventional measures in times of peace. This is a new open and brutal violation of the rules and principles on which the system of international relations is based, including international trade rules. The United States Government has dedicated itself to threatening and blackmailing the companies that supply fuel to Cuba, and those that engage in its international transport, without having any legal or moral authority to do so.”

Venezuelan oil tanker 520Venezuelan oil tanker 520The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the United Nations that “all these measures have a strong impact on Cuba’s economic activities, particularly those related to foreign trade operations and foreign investments.

No citizen or sector of the Cuban economy escapes the effects of the blockade, which hinders the development that any country has the right to build in a sovereign manner. For Cubans living abroad, the blockade regulations are also daily obstacles, as they are prevented from opening bank accounts, using certain credit cards or carrying out normal transactions, just because they have Cuban nationality.”

The report noted that from April 2019 to March 2020, the blockade has caused losses to Cuba by an estimated USD 5,570,300,000. This accounts for an increase of about USD 1,226 billion over the previous period.

For the first time, the total amount of damages caused by this policy in one year exceeds the barrier of five billion dollars, which illustrates the extent to which the blockade has intensified at this stage.

The damage calculated does not take into account the actions of the U.S. government in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, because it exceeds the end of the period under review.

The Cuban government pointed out that the scourge of the COVID-19 global pandemic has posed significant challenges for Cuba, and the country’s efforts to combat it have been significantly limited by the regulations of the U.S. blockade.

“The genocidal nature of this policy has been reinforced in the midst of the confrontation with the new coronavirus, since the U.S. government has used it, and in particular its extraterritorial component, to deliberately deprive the Cuban people of mechanical ventilators, masks, diagnostic kits, protective glasses, suits, gloves, reagents and other inputs necessary for the management of this disease.

The availability of these resources can make the difference between life and death for patients who are carriers of the virus, as well as for the health personnel who care for them,” the Cuban government said.

The Cubans pointed to a crusade launched by the United States to discredit and hinder the international medical cooperation that Cuba offers, and going so far as to require other countries to refrain from requesting it, even in the midst of the health emergency created by COVID-19 in the world.

The Cubans noted that in the current situation, in which humanity is facing an economic and social crisis accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more necessary than ever that the international community demands the lifting of the blockade imposed by the government of the United States against Cuba, which constitutes the most complex and prolonged system of unilateral coercive measures ever imposed against any country.

Full text of the Cuba's report to the UN can be found at: 

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