Cuban Foreign Minister presents Report on the impact of the United States blockade against Cuba

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, presented this Thursday the Report on the impact of the United States blockade against Cuba in the last year, a document that denounces in a well-founded way the resurgence of that hostile and aggressive policy.

The Resolution entitled “The need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” will be voted in May 2021, for the twenty-ninth time within the United Nations General Assembly; this time postponed due to the impact of COVID-19 on a global scale.

At a press conference, the Foreign Minister said that the United States government has intensely intensified the blockade against Cuba, even in times of pandemic. He commented on how a donation of medical supplies sent by a Chinese company could not reach Cuban territory as a consequence. He also pointed out that Cuba's effective confrontation with COVID-19 has been possible due to the strength of the island's health system.

He also referred to the measures against fuel supplies and the lies and slander that are increasing against the country.

"Whoever wins the elections in the United States will have to face the fact that the blockade harms Cubans, their families, violates human rights and makes travel, visas and family reunification difficult."

The head of the Cuban dilplomacy stated that the blockade policy even affects the national interest of the United States, a country that "suffers deep isolation and discredit." He also pointed out that "due to its extraterritorial application, it violates sovereignty and affects the interests of all the States of the planet."

From April 2019 to March 2020, the blockade has caused losses to Cuba in the order of 5 thousand 570 million dollars. "First time it exceeds five billion in a year," he added.

At current prices, the accumulated damages during almost six decades of application of this policy amount to 144 thousand 413.4 million dollars, while taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold in the international market, the figure amounts to more than one trillion 98 thousand 8 million dollars.

"It is cynical to come to Cuba now to tell the Cubans that the blockade has no real impact, to tell the Cuban families who suffer it every day and every hour."

Rodríguez Parrilla pointed out that, in a practical way, the blockade means the denial to Cuba of access to medical equipment and supplies of American origin or, even, of third countries that have more than 10% of American components or technologies from that country, being the health area one of the most affected.

The foreign minister also referred to the implications of the blockade for Cuban families on both sides. He mentioned the aggressive attack on remittances, the elimination or minimization of contacts and communication between them using “spurious tools and actions”.

The Foreign Minister pointed out how difficult it is to measure the impact of the blockade on Cuban daily life, economy and society.

“The blockade in its nature and its extraordinary reinforcement in these two years is an expression of the historical inability of the government of the United States to recognize that Cuba is an independent nation, which must enjoy according to international law and fully exercise its sovereignty and their self-determination ”.

The head of Cuban diplomacy also pointed out that the blockade constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, the norms and principles on which international relations are based, international trade norms and freedom of navigation. "It is an act of genocide typified in the 1948 Geneva Convention and lacks any political, moral or legal justification", for this reason "it arouses universal rejection that is expressed in overwhelming votes of the United Nations General Assembly."

“The blockade represents a serious and growing impediment to the development prospects of our country, to the satisfaction of the peremptory needs of our people. It is a gross, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights. It has a real and damaging impact on the process of updating the Cuban economic model and constitutes the main obstacle to the advance, at some point, of the bilateral relations between the United States and Cuba.

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