OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
On June 16, 2017, U.S. 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. Photo: Granma
On June 16, 2017, U.S. 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. Photo: Granma

Below, we provide extracts from Cuba’s Report on Resolution 71/5 of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against 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.”

“On June 16, 2017 the U.S. 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 traveling and trade.”

“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.” 

”Despite the announcements made by the U.S. Treasury Department on March 15, 2016, stating that Cuba would be allowed to use U.S. dollars in its international transactions and that U.S. Banks would be allowed to grant credits to Cuban importers for the purchase of authorized U.S. products, so far Cuba has not been able to carry out any significant international operation in this currency.”

“This Report shows how the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against Cuba is the greatest obstacle to the implementation of the National Economic 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.” 

“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 U.S. 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.”

“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.”

“In spite of the measures adopted by the administration of President Barack Obama in 2015 and 2016 to modify the implementation of some aspects of the blockade, the laws and regulations that support that policy are still in force and are implemented by U.S. Government agencies, namely the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce, and in particular by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).”

“During 2015 and 2016, President Obama’s administration enforced several measures aimed at modifying the implementation of some aspects of the blockade. While these were positive steps, they were insufficient, since there have been significant obstacles that have prevented their implementation, and several key aspects of the blockade as well as the numerous restrictions that result from that policy have remained unchanged.”

“The strengthening of the U.S. sanctions regime against Cuba is a setback in bilateral relations, which places additional obstacles to the very limited and scarce economic and commercial relations between both countries. The measures approved by President Trump would not only lead to a reduction in U.S. citizens travels to Cuba, but also to the imposition of new prohibitions that will affect the interests of the U.S. business sector.”

“The blockade has also affected the academic and scientific exchange between Cuban health professionals and technicians and their U.S. counterparts due to the delays in the granting of U.S. visas to attend scientific events that are held in the United States.” 

“The accumulated monetary impact of this policy on Cuba’s public health amounts to 2,711,600,000 dollars, while in the period covered by this Report, the cost of the negative effects of this policy amounted to more than 87 million dollars.”

“The blockade imposed by the United States affects the Cuban programs aimed at ensuring a quality, universal and free education at all levels. During the period covered by this Report, the educational sector in Cuba has reported losses estimated at 2,832,830 dollars.”

“The tourism industry in Cuba was also heavily affected as a result of the implementation of the blockade. During the period covered by this Report, losses resulting from the implementation of this policy amounted to 1,701,906,000 dollars.”

“In the telecom and information services sector, losses have been estimated at 68,922,110 dollars, accounting for an increase of 9,713,000 dollars as compared to the same period of the previous year.”

“Cuba attaches high priority to the comprehensive development of all branches of industry that contribute to the development of the strategic sectors identified in the National Economic and Social Development Plan to the Year 2030. These sectors have also been affected by the implementation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States. During the period covered by this Report, the financial losses in the Cuban industry were estimated at 59,225,936 dollars.”

“The blockade against Cuba should cease. It is the most unjust, severe and longest-standing unilateral sanctions system ever imposed against any country. On 25 occasions, the UN General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority, has been in favor of observing International Law and the Principles and Purposes of the UN Charter.

“The U.S. Government should totally, unilaterally and unconditionally lift the blockade against Cuba. That would be consistent with the overwhelming appeal of the international community and the majority opinion of many different voices in the United States calling for an end to this unjust policy.”