Why Cuba will present the resolution against the blockade again?

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October 19, 2019

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By Ibete Fernández Hernández

Cuba has been the victim for almost six decades of an unfair financial, economic and commercial blockade that was formalized on February 3, 1962 with the sole objective of overthrowing the nascent Cuban Revolution.

In a secret memorandum in 1960, Lester D. Mallory, a state department official said: “We must quickly use all possible means to weaken Cuba’s economic life (…) deprive it of money and supplies, to reduce its resources financial and real wages, provoke hunger, despair and the overthrow of the Government ”. The official came to this conclusion by recognizing that there was no effective opposition to the revolutionary process in Cuba.

The basis of this addiction towards Cuba, were established by Thomas Jefferson in 1810 with a geopolitical statement, known as the “ripe fruit” theory referring to the need for the island to belong to the United States and not another power, to ensure the safety of the giant of the north and the protection of its commerce, this vision was put in danger after the Cuban people demonstrated in 1959 that it was possible defeat the power of the north in its own hemisphere.

In 57 years, the blockade has caused damages to Cuba worth 138,843.4 million dollars representing a total of 922 thousand 630 million usd, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against gold between 1961 and 2018. Suffice it to say that each and every one of the sectors of the social economic life of the country, have been affected. I propose to review some effects between April 2018 and March 2019:

• Health 104 million 148 thousand 178 usd
• Food- 421 million 230 thousand 614 usd
• Tourism- 49 million usd
• Transportation- 170 million usd
• Energy- 78 million 336 thousand 424 usd
• Foreign trade 2,896 million 581 thousand usd

The figures may be cold, but we will illustrate with examples, included in Cuba’s report to the UN:

• Between June 2018 and April 2019, the US government imposed nine sanctions on companies or banks from third countries, including from the US itself.

• The blockage hinders the acquisition of technologies, raw materials, reagents, diagnostic means, equipment and spare parts, as well as medicines for the treatment of serious diseases, such as cancer. These inputs must be obtained in distant markets, on many occasions, through intermediaries.

• The companies responsible for the elaboration of food products in the country import approximately 70% of their raw materials from different markets. To date, the blockade has made it impossible to make purchases in the US market, which is very attractive due to its prices and proximity.

• The University of Sancti Spíritus could not acquire 20 SMART Braille typewriters and hearing aids from the Perkins company, which are necessary for the training of undergraduate and graduate students in Special Education. Both technologies are American made.

• The Cuban team, winner of the second place in the Caribbean Baseball Series, held in Panama from February 4 to 10, 2019, could not receive its cash prize of $ 72,000. The same happened with several Cuban athletes who could not receive their prize of $ 5,000 per player.

• If the blockade does not exist, it is estimated that 35% of total visitors to Cuba in a year could be Americans.

• The blockade prevents access to brands and / or equipment of high performance and leaders in the market of infocommunications or that are distributed or have patents of US entities, including landlines, mobiles, antennas, computer systems, etc.

• Refusal to transfer funds to or from Cuba and to provide other banking services: 15 entities, including nine Asian, three European, two Latin American and one from Oceania.

In this context in which the resurgence of the bloc has become the cornerstone of the current US administration policy towards Cuba, we will present the resolution once, because we are assisted by the right to demand justice for the millions of Cubans who have lived under this stigma.

It is not a bilateral issue as the phenomenon has intended to be observed, but an intrusion into the sovereignty of other states that due to restrictions, threats and intimidation are unable to trade regularly with Cuba.

For 27 years a resolution the international community has condemned the blockade against Cuba. This claim has been ignore the claims, not only in UN but in other forums. Blockade must stop without conditions. Cannot be used to provoke political changes that are not of the will of Cuban people.

Cuba, while appreciating the accompaniment of the international community, will not give up its efforts to end the blockade. It is the longest and most unfair in the history of mankind and constitutes the greatest obstacle to the development of the economic potential of the island.

In the midst of the complex situation in the world today, we aspire to have the support of all countries that defend their sovereignty and self-determination.

Ibete Fernández Hernández

Ambassador of Cuba in Malaysia

19 October 2019