Blockade: a six-decade old reality in Cuba

New York, January 18th, 2022. On February 3rd, 1962, the President of the United States at that time, John F. Kennedy, proclaimed the "embargo" on all trade between the United States and Cuba, in compliance with section 620 (a) of the Foreign Assistance Act. That proclamation would go down in history as Presidential Proclamation 3447 and would make the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba official, which has been maintained as the backbone of the U.S. policy towards the island and has been intensified in an opportunistic and unprecedented manner, within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 60 years of blockade, the costs of this policy for an economy like Cuba's have been enormous and its consequences, which go beyond the mere economic impact, are reflected in all spheres of the national life. The period between January and July 2021, which marks the beginning of President Joseph Biden's administration and the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrates as much as the preceding year the cruel and inhuman nature of this policy due to its effects on the health and food of the Cuban population.

On the other hand, the blockade also engenders a very serious human damage, which is impossible to quantify. It is aimed at breaking the conscience of Cubans, thwarting their development paradigm and inciting them to discontent. Although it is not measurable or quantifiable, the damage remains and impacts on all Cubans in one way or another, even those who reside beyond our borders.

Several generations of Cubans were born and have lived under the siege of this criminal policy, applied with viciousness and intentionality in order to cripple the most sensitive economic and social sectors.

This is evidenced by the infamous memorandum of then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs of the US Department of State, Lester Mallory, who on April 6, 1960 would state:

"The majority of Cubans support Castro...the only foreseeable way of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship...all possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba... a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of Government."

U.S. institutions themselves recognize the extent and nature of the economic, financial and commercial blockade against Cuba and its people.

In 2017, the United States Government Accountability Office (USGAO), through its Report "Economic Sanctions: Agencies Face Competing Priorities in Enforcing the US Embargo on Cuba", would recognize that "it is one of the most comprehensive sets of U.S. economic sanctions on any country".

Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations

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