The Trinidad and Tobago Friends of Cuba condemns in the strongest terms the escalation of the Economic Blockade against Cuba. In June 2019 the State Department headed secretary Mike Pompeo and the US National Security Adviser John Bolton have adopted, with new vigour, the most extreme incarnation of the Muroe Doctrine which is designed to give the US hegemonic control of the Western Hemisphere. The Cuban revolution remains an affront to this doctrine. These new measures include among other things, the placing of Cuba on the list of countries which have not fought human trafficking and the adoption of the Title III, the most draconian Clause of the Helm Burton Act (1996).
These measures are tantamount to economic warfare against the Cuban people. Sixty (60) years of the economic blockade has cost the Cuban economy $134 B US. This translates into the suffering of the Cuban people and this reduction in the pace of development in many areas of the Cuban economy. Despite the foregoing and the unjust identification of Cuba as a state who does not fight human trafficking Cuba still has the most stable society in Latin American in terms of crime, health care and social justice. Compared to its powerful neighbour to the north where that country is still grappling with the lack of universal health care, the mal treatment of immigrants, social injustice including racism and human trafficking particularly in the sex trade inclusive of children.
The application of Title III for the first time is an unprecedented attempt to prosecute third country businesses who trade and or engages in business with Cuba. In five US Presidential terms no incumbent has applied Title III before now.
The reasons for the non application were clear:
➢ It is difficult to prosecute third country businesses in US Courts.
➢ Its application is not in US interests for a host of reasons including the risk of an economic backlash from US allies who invest in Cuba.
Why is Pampeo and Bolton so committed to these difficult to implement measures? Firstly they recognise that Cuba’s influence in the economic south is as strong as ever. Cuba despite the embargo has economic, diplomatic and social ties with over 160 countries in the areas of:
➢ Agriculture etc.
South South Corporation is the greatest threat to US economic and military interests. Therefore by threatening third country trade with Cuba the hope is that Cuba’s economic isolation will be consolidated and thus severely limiting the scope of South South economic and technical corporation. The TTFC therefore calls on the Trump Administration to stop the economic warfare against Cuba. Sixty –six years after the raid on the Moncada Barracks by young idealistic revolutionaries Cuba has earned the right to its own self determination and the right to trade with whomever she sees fit in her own national interest.