Report on the effects of the blockade on Cuba

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States against Cuba for almost 60 years still persists, continues to cause suffering to the Cuban people and obstructs the economic development of the country. The purpose of this Report is to summarize the negative impacts resulting from the implementation of this policy from April 2016 to June 2017.

On June 16, 2017 the US President, Donald Trump, signed the National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States toward Cuba”. This directive establishes a new policy that proclaims as one of its main objectives the tightening of the blockade against the Island.

In order to achieve that goal, President Trump announced the adoption of new coercive measures against Cuba and the reversal of others that were adopted by his predecessor that had modified the implementation of some aspects of the blockade in the areas of travelling and trade. Likewise, he proclaimed that the United States would oppose all demands in favor of the lifting of the blockade at the United Nations Organization and other international forums, in an open challenge to the views expressed by the overwhelming majority of the international community as well as the public opinion of broad sectors of the US society. He also derogated the Presidential Policy Directive “United States- Cuba Normalization” issued by President Barack Obama on October 14, 2016, which recognized that the blockade was an obsolete policy and that it should be lifted.

The blockade against Cuba is still in force and is being fully implemented.

During the period covered by this Report, the financial and extraterritorial dimensions of the blockade policy have been further tightened. This situation began to worsen under the Obama administration, which was evidenced by the fines imposed on foreign companies that maintained commercial relations with Cuba; the unwillingness or refusal on the part of international banks or institutions to engage in operations with the Island for fear of being fined; and the persecution of Cuba‟s international financial transactions.

Despite the announcements made by the US Treasury Department on March 15, 2016, stating that Cuba would be allowed to use US dollars in its international transactions and that US Banks would be allowed to grant credits to Cuban importers for the purchase of authorized US products, so far Cuba has not been able to carry out any significant international operation in this currency. The increase of the aggressive rhetoric against our country and the measures announced on June 16, 2017, generate greater distrust and uncertainty among financial institutions and even among US suppliers due to fears and a real risk of being penalized for having relations with Cuba.

This Report shows how the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against Cuba is the greatest obstacle to the implementation of the National Economic 2 and Social Development Plan of the country as well as to the development of all the economic potential and the wellbeing of the Cuban people and Cuba‟s economic, commercial and financial relations with the United States and the rest of the world. This document includes several examples showing the economic and social impact resulting from the implementation of the blockade during the aforementioned period.

The Report describes the limited scope of the measures adopted by the administration of Barack Obama during the last two years of his mandate.

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 in the world market. At current prices, the quantifiable damages caused by the blockade have been estimated at more than 130 178 600 000 dollars.

During the period covered by this Report, the damages caused by the blockade to Cuba have been estimated at 4 305 400 000 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.

Thus, the United States are urged to comply with the 25 Resolutions adopted by the international community at the UN General Assembly, whose member States call for an end to that absurd policy and the unilateral and unconditional lifting of the blockade.

 The blockade against Cuba should cease once and for all.