Cuba calls for Elimination of US Blockade

On November 13, 2012, for the twenty-first consecutive occasion, Cuba will submit to the consideration of the United Nations General Assembly the draft resolution entitled, “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”

The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960 (almost two years after the Batista Regime was deposed by the Cuban Revolution.) It was enacted after Cuba nationalized the properties of United States citizens and corporations and it was strengthened to a near-total embargo on February 7, 1962.

Titled the Cuban Democracy Act, the embargo was codified into law in 1992 with the stated purpose of maintaining sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government continued to refuse to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights.”

In 1996, congress passed the Helms Burton Act, which further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, and mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government were met.

In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo even further by ending the practice of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. Companies trading with Cuba.

The blockade against Cuba remains in place despite the repeated and almost unanimous demand by the international community, particularly the United Nations General Assembly for its elimination.

Cuban Ambassador, to Dominica Her Excellency Juana Elena Rodriguez Ramos spoke on the matter at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Last year, 186 member states voted in favor of this resolution, which is an irrefutable proof that the battle for the lifting of the blockade has the recognition and support of the vast majority of the International Community.  The extra-territorial application of the blockade has been extraordinarily reinforced, as proven by the strengthening of the sanctions and persecution against third countries’ citizens, institutions and companies that establish or intend to establish economic, commercial and financial relations with Cuba

According to Ambassador Ramos, the blockade applied to Cuba remains the most unfair, spanning a period of fifty years.

“The blockade against Cuba remains the most unjust, far-reaching, severe and prolonged system of unilateral coercive sanctions ever applied to any country in the world for half a century.  This policy may be defined as an act of genocide by virtue of item C of Article II of the 1948 Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

She further stated, “Although international humanitarian law prohibits any embargo on raw materials for food and medicine, even in wartime, Cuba continues unable to trade even food and medicine, with subsidiaries of U.S. companies in third countries.”

Statistics reveal that the implementation of the blockade has caused tremendous economic damage to the Cuban people amounting to over $108 bn.

The Ambassador stated that, “Taking into consideration the depreciation of the US dollar against the price of gold in the international financial market, the damages cost to the Cuban economy would exceed one trillion sixty-six thousand million dollars.”

Ambassador Ramos thanked the Dominican Government for its continued support to the Cuban revolution.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dominica Government for the support it has always offered to the Cuban resolution at the United Nations General Assembly calling to lift the blockade.  I’m also confident that once again, Cuba will have the support of Dominica on November 13.”