CUBA has asked the US to totally, unilaterally and unconditionally end the almost 60-year-old blockade of the communist island.
According to the Cuban report to be presented before the UN General Assembly on November 1, detailing the effects of the US economic, commercial and financial embargo against Havana, the island said in one year, the blockade had caused economic damage to the tune of US $4.3 billion.
“The damages caused by the implementation of the blockade throughout almost six decades have been estimated at 822, 280, 000, 000 dollars, taking into account the devaluation of the US dollar vis-à-vis the price of gold on the world market. At current prices, the quantifiable damages caused by the blockade have been estimated at more than 130,178, 600,000 dollars,” the report yet to be published in Cuba states. “During the period covered by this Report, the damages caused by the blockade to Cuba have been estimated at 4,305,400,000.00 dollars. Putting this figure into perspective, according to estimates from the Ministry of Economy and Planning of Cuba, this means that the country needs from 2 to 2.5 billion dollars in direct foreign investments to achieve economic development. In other words the annual cost of the blockade to Cuba is twice the amount it needs to fully develop its economy. The blockade continues to be a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cubans and qualifies as an act of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. It is also an obstacle to international cooperation.”
Cuba stated that in spite of the measures adopted by the administration of president Barack Obama in 2015 and 2016 to modify the implementation of some aspects of the blockade, the laws and regulations that supported that policy were still in force and were implemented by US Government agencies such as the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce, and in particular by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The report stated that the blockade was being tightened and fully implemented.
Cuba stressed that the US unilateral but extraterritorially applied policy continued to be the only obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy and the full enjoyment of all human rights by the Cuban people.
“The measures aimed at tightening the blockade announced by the administration of President Donald Trump on June 16, 2017, will affect and harm not only the Cuban people, but also the citizens and entities of the United States, whose possibilities of doing business with private individuals and companies in Cuba and exercising their constitutional right to free travel will be even more restricted.
There is still fear among the banking sector of the US and other countries to operate with Cuba, even after the Island was authorized to use American dollars in its international financial transactions. At the close of this Report, no significant transaction in that currency had materialized,” reads the report in part.
“…The blockade blockade against Cuba should cease. It is the most unjust, severe and longest- standing unilateral sanctions system ever imposed against any country. On 25 occasions, the UN General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority, has been in favor of observing International Law and the Principles and Purposes of the UN Charter. The US Government should totally, unilaterally and unconditionally lift the blockade against Cuba. That would be consistent with the overwhelming appeal of the international community and the majority opinion of many different voices in the United States calling for an end to this unjust policy.”