Statement of Ambassador of Cuba in the Virtual Seminar on “Unilateral Coercive Measures in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic”

The world now faces a highly complex international scenario, where multilateralism and international cooperation, which are the only instruments to promote common goals and find solutions to our collective problems, are undermined by the aggressive and unilateral behavior of some countries.

Cuba rejects the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against any country, which are incompatible with International Law, harm the peoples and contravene the foundations of the multilateral system.

Unilateral coercive measures directly threaten the sovereignty and political independence of States, and frustrate their efforts for development and full enjoyment of human rights by their peoples. Their aim is to cause economic and political hardship in the states against which they are directed.

The unilateral coercive measures not only affect the countries that are victims of these sanctions, but their effects are also reflected in the International Organizations, since as a result of these measures, the victim countries encounter multiple obstacles to fulfill their financial commitments with them. Therefore, indirectly, unilateral coercive measures also undermine the objectives and mission of International Organizations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a colossal challenge for all countries, with multiple and devastating consequences not only for health, but also for the economy, trade and our societies in general. In this context, in which the international community is concentrating its efforts to face the pandemic, some countries have also had to continue to face the serious cost of the continuous and growing application of unilateral coercive measures, which aggravate the negative impact of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and have even strengthened in recent months.

In the case of Cuba, for more than 60 years we have been victims of the most severe and prolonged system of unilateral coercive measures that has ever been applied against any country. In the midst of the complex international situation resulting from the COVID19 pandemic, the United States government, instead of reducing its sanctions against our country, has decided to intensify them in a cruel way, demonstrating its lack of adherence to any principle of solidarity and cooperation and the absence of the most basic instinct of humanity.

In the context of the COVID-19, the US government has imposed 32 new measures against Cuba. During these last months, the blockade has prevented our country from accessing medical equipment, supplies and medical technology of US origin or even technology or equipment from third States. Shipping companies that carry fuel to Cuba have been sanctioned in order to stop the supply of fuel to the country. Operating licenses for US companies such as Western Union have been closed, in order to stop the sending of remittances to our citizens. All these measures, which are only a few examples, are aimed at strangling the country's economy and impoverishing the living conditions of our people.

The application of unilateral coercive measures is a serious violation of the Charter of the United Nations and goes against the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. Despite the multiple calls from the UN Secretary General, the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the international community to lift these sanctions in this difficult context, the countries that impose these measures have decided to ignore those claims. This is not acceptable.

From this seminar that takes place at the United Nations Office in Vienna, we must make a strong claim to the countries that impose murderous sanctions against our peoples.

It is time for solidarity and cooperation, the continuation of humanity is asking for it. Those who do not join this call are plotting against the survival of the human race itself.

 

Thank you very much.

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