United Nations General Assembly holds General Debate on the impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures

Havana, June 13, 2024 - The United Nations General Assembly today debated the topic: "Elimination of unilateral extraterritorial coercive economic measures used as an instrument of political and economic coercion".

Speaking on behalf of Cuba, Deputy Foreign Minister Elio Rodríguez Perdomo denounced the negative impact of the criminal and illegal blockade imposed by the US government against the island. He rejected the application of unilateral coercive measures and demanded their elimination, as they violate the United Nations Charter and International Law.

Likewise, he emphasized that it is not enough to recognize that Cuba fully cooperates with the United States in the fight against terrorism, as recently admitted by the US State Department, but that Cuba should be excluded without further delay from the spurious list of States that allegedly sponsor terrorism, where it should never have been.

This debate was convened at the initiative of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, made up of 18 countries, of which Cuba is a founding member.

In its intervention, the Group made a joint intervention urging the government of the United States to put an immediate and unconditional end to the blockade against Cuba and to exclude our country from the arbitrary and unilateral list of State sponsors of terrorism.

The Group emphasized that Cuba is an example of dignity, resistance and victory over these illegal and anachronistic policies.


Statement by Elio Rodríguez Perdomo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the “Elimination of unilateral extraterritorial coercive measures used as an instrument of political and economic compulsion.”

New York, June 13, 2024

Your Excellency, Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly;

Distinguished heads of delegations;

Esteemed participants;

We welcome the convening of this timely and relevant debate on the elimination of unilateral coercive measures used as an instrument of political and economic compulsion.

Our delegation endorses the statements made by Uganda on behalf of NAM and the Group of 77 plus China, as well as the statement made by Venezuela on behalf of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations

Cuba strongly rejects the implementation of unilateral coercive measures, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

Such measures are particularly detrimental in the current conditions of an international economy in crisis increasingly interconnected, interdependent and under the dictates of the financial centers of power.

We observe an unacceptable trend of increased unilateral coercive measures.

Their impact undermines our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and national development plans by preventing fair and inclusive insertion into international markets on equal terms.

Such measures cause direct, intentional and politically motivated damage to the sovereignty and independence of the States against which they are directed. In certain cases, they are targeted against entire populations. They violate the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and hinder the efforts of nations to promote the full enjoyment of human rights.

They are in violation of international trade rules, insofar as they imply actions of economic pressure detrimental to the sovereignty of the countries.

The full, immediate and unconditional removal of such measures is a historic demand of the international community, as expressed in resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, as well as in a large number of statements by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations.

We demand the complete, immediate and unconditional elimination of all unilateral coercive measures.

Mr. President;

For 62 years, the U.S. government has imposed on Cuba the most severe and prolonged system of unilateral coercive measures ever enforced against any nation.

Over 80% of the current Cuban population was born under this economic, commercial and financial blockade.

It is a deliberate act of economic warfare with the purpose of blocking the country's financial income, undermining the government's ability to meet the needs of the population, causing the economy to collapse and creating a situation of ungovernability.

The blockade constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cubans and calls forth the virtually unanimous repudiation of the international community.

The human toll of this policy is immeasurable.   No Cuban family is spared from the effects of the blockade, which causes shortages and instability in the supply of essential products and basic necessities.

Since 2019, the blockade against Cuba has escalated to an extreme dimension, much crueler and inhumane.

In the area of health, our country cannot access equipment, technologies, devices, treatments and suitable medicines. We are prevented from acquiring them from U.S. companies and we are forced to buy them at exorbitant prices, through intermediaries or replace them with generics of lesser efficacy, even for newborns and sick children.

The blockade deprives our national industry of funds to import the necessary inputs for food production. It exacerbates the financial and credit access limitations to invest, repair and provide adequate maintenance to the country's thermoelectric plants.

The cumulative impact over more than six decades of its enforcement amounts to more than 159 billion dollars.[1]

The United States' persecution of financial and commercial transactions and investments concerning our country is relentless and obsessive.

This has been further reinforced by the arbitrary inclusion of Cuba on the State Department's unilateral list of alleged state sponsors of terrorism.

This is a designation with no basis, authority or international support whatsoever, to try to justify and reinforce the siege against Cuba with which the United States continues to punish the Cuban people.

It is not good enough to recognize that Cuba cooperates fully with the United States in the fight on terrorism, as recently admitted by the State Department.

Cuba must be removed without further delay from this bogus unilateral list, a fallacy that has a suffocating impact on our economy.

Mr. President;

The States represented here are also victims of the extraterritorial impact of the blockade against Cuba, which harms the sovereignty of nations, infringes upon their national legislations, holds them liable to decisions of U.S. courts and harms the interests of their companies that want to establish relations with Cuba; all this in violation of international law.

Subsidiaries of U.S. companies in third countries are prohibited from trading with Cuba; exports to Cuba of articles produced in any country are prevented when containing 10% or more of U.S. components; products manufactured in third countries are excluded if containing Cuban raw materials.

The blockade is coupled with an intense communication campaign of disinformation by the US government, with subversion programs to which it allocates tens of millions of dollars from the federal budget and additional sums of covert funds.

They seek to discredit Cuba by all means, by the shameless use of lies, hatred and manipulation of data.

The purpose is to promote political and social instability amidst the economic hardship caused by the U.S. government itself.

It is neither legal nor ethical for the government of a power to subject a small nation, for decades, to a relentless economic warfare in order to impose a foreign political system on that nation.

It is not admissible for the government of the United States to ignore for more than 30 years the successive resolutions of this General Assembly demanding an end to the blockade against Cuba.

It is inadmissible to deprive an entire people of the right to peace, development, well-being and human progress.

Mr. President;

The blockade has not fulfilled and will not fulfill its purpose of subduing the Cuban people.

Even amidst the inhuman prohibitions and limitations imposed on us, Cuba will never give up its system of social justice.

We will continue being a fully independent and sovereign nation, master of its destiny. It is an achievement attained by the sacrifice of several generations, which we will always defend.

I conclude by expressing my gratitude, on behalf of the Cuban government and people, for the solidarity support we have received from the vast majority of the States represented here, in light of the injustice perpetrated against Cuba.

Thank you for standing with us in defending the right of the Cuban people to live without unilateral coercive measures.

Thank you


[1] Data from Cuba's Report pursuant to resolution 77/7 of the United Nations General Assembly, entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”, July 2023.


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