75 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, Sra. Alena Douhan, on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. Third Committee. New York, 16 October 2020

Madam Chair,

We welcome the Special Rapporteur and congratulate her on her appointment. Like her predecessors, she will count on our full support.

We appreciate the presentation of her report A/75/209, which examines the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We agree with the Rapporteur that the frequency, type, purpose and scope of these measures have greatly expanded; and that the pandemic has revealed their impact, in the short and long term, on all human rights.

Madam Chair,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the scenario chosen by the United States to further tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which violates the UN Charter and international law. This policy of punishment, which is nothing but a crime, constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of Cubans.

The blockade is the main obstacle to Cuba's development. Between April 2018 and March 2019 alone, it has caused losses to our country in the order of 4,3 billion dollars.

The United States has imposed even greater obstacles to the arrival of fuel to Cuba from third countries, with the purpose of interrupting the generation of energy and affecting the basic services to the population. It has also made it difficult to acquire medicines, supplies and medical equipment essential to the health of the Cuban people, including against COVID-19.

The purpose of the blockade is to surrender the Cuban people, and make them renounce the path they have chosen in the exercise of their self-determination. However, the United States will fail, as it has done for 6 decades, in its claims against Cuba.

In this regard, we urge the Rapporteur to continue to evaluate the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the capacities of the affected countries to confront and recover from the pandemic, as well as on human rights, including the right to development and self-determination.

Thank you.