OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE

In a period of just one year, from March 2014 to the same month of 2015, the U.S. blockade has cost Cuban agriculture a sum of no less than $451,520,000 dollars.

The numbers were confirmed yesterday by Juan José León, head of the International Affairs Department of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG), during a press conference held at the Ministry headquarters.

According to the official, general damages are broken down as follows: $228.7 million U.S. dollars for income lost due to restrictions on exports of goods and services; $128.4 million for losses related to the geographical relocation of trade; $30.5 million related to losses in production and services; and the remainder results from inaccessibility to technology, financial damages and the effects of emigration and the brain drain, in that order.

The overall figure of losses associated with the blockade represents an increase of $144 million dollars, and the highest incidence results from the calculations made on products which the country is unable to obtain, affecting the supply of basic goods. Also affected are items such as rice, beans, corn and coffee, León explained.

The lack of access to spare parts and the latest technology, the reluctance of foreign companies to enter into contracts with Cuba for fear of sanctions, the restrictions on imports and exports, and other aspects impacting on livestock, rice and fruit production, production, among other areas, continue.

Regarding the tobacco industry, losses were estimated at over $149 million dollars. The benefits of the possibility of Cuba’s Premium tobacco entering the U.S. market were also underlined.