The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, presented this Thursday, at a press conference, the Cuba Report on the impact caused by the US blockade policy during the last year.
Due to the complex epidemiological situation at the global level and in particular in the US, the resolution entitled "Need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba" will be presented for the twenty-ninth time during the session resumed from the 75th session of the General Assembly, in May 2021.
This report covers the period between April 2019 and March 2020, marked by a serious setback in bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States (US) and a progressive tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.
"It is cynical to tell Cubans now that the blockade has no real impact," said the Foreign Minister, when in this period, the numerous regulations and provisions issued by the US government against Cuba reached unprecedented levels of hostility. The possibility of establishing claims under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act; the increase in the persecution of financial and commercial transactions in Cuba; the ban on flights from the US to all Cuban provinces, with the exception of Havana; the persecution and intimidation of companies that send fuel supplies to Cuba, and the campaign of discredit against Cuban medical cooperation programs, are some of the most distinctive examples.
According to Rodríguez Parrilla, this cynicism, in times of a "new feverish McCarthyism," is immoral.
THE DIFFICULTIES IN THIS MINUTE REMAIN UNCOMMUNAL, ALEGATES THE MINISTER
From April 2019 to March 2020, the blockade has caused losses to Cuba in the order of 5 thousand 570.3 million dollars. This represents an increase of around 1,226 million dollars over the previous period. For the first time, the total amount of the effects caused by this policy in a year exceeds the five billion dollar barrier, which illustrates the extent to which the blockade has intensified at this stage. The effects calculated do not include the actions of the US government in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, since they exceed the end of the period analyzed.
At current prices, the accumulated damages during almost six decades of application of this policy amount to 144,413.4 million dollars. Taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold in the international market, the blockade has caused quantifiable damages of more than one trillion 98 thousand 8 million dollars.
THE US HAS USED THE EXTRATERRITORIAL COMPONENT, TO DELIBERATELY DEPRIVATE THE CUBAN PEOPLE OF HEALTH SUPPLIES IN THE MIDST OF THE PANDEMIC
In this context, the scourge of a global pandemic such as COVID-19 has posed notable challenges for Cuba, and the country's efforts to combat it have been significantly limited by the regulations of the US blockade. The genocidal nature of this policy has been reinforced in the midst of the confrontation with the new coronavirus, since the US government has used it, and in particular its extraterritorial component, to deliberately deprive the Cuban people of lung ventilators mechanics, masks, diagnostic kits, protective glasses, suits, gloves, reagents and other necessary supplies for the management of this disease. The availability of these resources can mean the difference between life and death for patients carrying the virus, as well as for the health personnel who care for them.
The foregoing has not been enough for the US government, which has also launched a crusade to try to discredit and obstruct the international medical cooperation that Cuba offers, spreading slander and going so far as to demand that other countries refrain from requesting it, even in the middle of the health emergency created by COVID-19 in the world.
Despite its actions, the US government has not been able to prevent that until July 1, 2020, more than 3,000 Cuban collaborators, organized into 38 medical brigades, contribute to the fight against this pandemic in 28 countries and 3 non-autonomous territories. These efforts have also been joined by the more than 28,000 Cuban health professionals who were already providing their services in 59 nations before COVID-19.
THE USE OF INTIMIDATORY METHODS, SUCH AS THE APPLICATION OF HELMS - BURTON, IS INCREASED
Between April 2019 and March 2020, the US Treasury and Commerce Departments, in line with the hostility policy proclaimed by the Donald Trump government, introduced regulatory changes under the laws of the blockade against Cuba. . To the effects derived from these modifications, mainly in the travel and finance sector, were added the mechanisms of persecution of Cuba's operations in third countries, which brings with it a high dissuasive and intimidating effect for foreign counterparts, with the consequent damages for the Cuban economy.
In the period covered by this report, the Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) imposed 12 penalties on US and third-country entities for violating the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets. The amount of these penalties exceeded 2 thousand 403 million 985 thousand 125 dollars.
As part of his responses to the press, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba highlighted that this year 2020 the blockade against Cuba reaches unprecedented levels; it persecutes all sectors of the national economy and implies deficiencies for our people.
In particular in the last two years, the measures applied classify as unconventional measures inappropriate for peacetime. Its extraterritorial nature has increased and constitutes a systematic and flagrant violation of human rights.
For Cubans living abroad, the blockade regulations also constitute daily obstacles.
I am convinced that the American people will continue to reject this practice that also violates their rights, he said.
The blockade is applied extraterritorially against companies and citizens of third countries, which has an impact on our economy, which can be solved thanks to international solidarity. Faced with the blockade, the international community reacts every year in a clear position of rejection.
The blockade, with its extraterritoriality, is a massive and flagrant violation of the rights of citizens in Cuba and on a global scale, since it not only tries to render our people out of hunger and deprivation, but also constitutes a serious violation of international law.
In the General Assembly of the United Nations, the blockade receives a wide and overwhelming rejection. There is no area of commerce and navigation that is not impacted by the blockade, which also affects US citizens in their ties with the Cuban people.
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October 22, 2020