74 UNGA: Statement by Cuba at the adoption of the draft resolution: Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries. Second Committee. New York, 21 November 2019

Mr. Chairman,

We are facing a highly complex and dangerous international scenario, where multilateralism and international cooperation, essential for overcoming challenges such as extreme poverty, hunger, illiteracy, unemployment and climate change, are being undermined by the aggressive and unilateral behavior of a few countries with hegemonic pretensions.

Many conflicts are worsening, most of which are promoted by great powers. Unilateral measures are imposed in order to exercise political and economic coercion against our peoples.

These measures directly undermine the sovereignty, sovereign equality and political independence of States, as well as the non-interference in their internal affairs, and hinder their efforts towards development and the promotion and full enjoyment of the human rights of their peoples. Such measures aim at causing economic and political hardship to the States for which they are designed. They make no distinction between the countries targeted and the civilian population residing in them, disproportionately affecting millions of children, women and the elderly.

Cuba rejects the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against any country, since they are incompatible with the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, as well as contravene the basic foundations of the multilateral system, including the multilateral trading system.

As noted in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights (A/HRC/42/46) of July 2019, "economic sanctions and blockades are increasingly becoming a threat to international peace and security, as their unjustified and systematic use exacerbates tensions among States and leads to further violations of human rights, while distorting the structure of the collective security system enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations."

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba has been a victim of the most severe and prolonged system of unilateral coercive measures that has ever been applied against any country.

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America against Cuba for almost six decades is the main obstacle to the development of our country and to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In recent months, this illegal policy has been brutally intensified, with the full application of the Helms-Burton Act and other measures of pressure and harassment.

This policy includes the persecution, surveillance and imposition of sanctions against ships, shipping and insurance companies that transport fuel to our country.

The damage accumulated by the blockade during almost six decades of applying this policy amounts to 922 billion dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold. At current prices, it has caused quantifiable damages amounting to over 138 billion dollars.

The human cost for the implementation of this policy is extraordinary and incalculable, and constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the Cuban people. There is no Cuban family or sector in the country that has not been a victim of the effects of the blockade.

Despite all this, Cuba will continue to work to overcome the obstacles imposed by the blockade and to contribute to the solution of the problems that affect other sister nations.

Mr. Chairman,

As long as unilateral coercive measures continue to be imposed, it will not be possible to move towards multilateralism and the full implementation of internationally agreed commitments, in particular the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets.

Instead of imposing unilateral sanctions, mutually advantageous international and multilateral cooperation should be strengthened to remove obstacles to development.

Substantial financial resources must stop being squandered on wars and must be allocated to the development of peoples. 

Fair and mutually supportive economic relations should be established, providing special and differential treatment so that developing and least developed countries could gain access to the benefit of human progress. 

As our historical leader, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz said at this hall: "We want a new world order, based on justice, equity and peace, to replace the unjust and unequal system that prevails today.”

Thank you very much.