OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Photo: Granma Archives

THE U.S. ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA IS:

- The most unfair, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has been applied against any country.

- The main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy and the Cuban people’s full enjoyment of all human rights.

- A serious challenge for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

- An unjust, illegal, extraterritorial measure that violates international law.

GENERAL FIGURES:

- The accumulated damages caused by the implementation of the blockade throughout almost six decades have reached the figure of 933,678,000,000 dollars

- At current prices, the blockade has caused quantifiable damages of more than 134,499,800,000 dollars

- From April 2017 to March 2018, the blockade has been tightened and is being strictly applied. In this period it has caused damages in the order of 4,321,200,000 dollars

HEALTH

Unanswered or refused purchase requests:

- The purchase of the drug Temozolamide, at the forefront of chemotherapy treatment, was prevented

- Information was requested on two occasions for the purchase of the da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic surgical system developed by U.S. company Intuitive Surgical

- High-tech equipment known as a mass spectrometer, used for the diagnosis and early detection of metabolic diseases or inborn errors of metabolism

- Cardiac valves of different types, vascular prostheses, electrode extraction devices

- Direct shipments to Cuba of Levofloxacin were refused, a medicine used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, bronchitis and pneumonia, among other ailments

- Nitric oxide, used for the prevention or effective treatment of acute pulmonary hypertension

EDUCATION, SPORTS AND CULTURE

- Increased freight costs for transportation of products from distant markets

- Lack of teaching and research resources, due to their higher costs in other markets

- Limited access to scientific information and computer tools

- Obstacles to receiving payments for professional services abroad

- Not all the necessary equipment for the learning of minors with special needs can be accessed

- Reduction in academic exchanges between universities

- Reduced imports of sports equipment made by U.S. brands, many of mandatory use

- Cuban sports schools’ ability to acquire medicines and state-of-the-art equipment is restricted

- Exchanges between Cuban artists and their U.S. counterparts have diminished

- The materials necessary for arts education are acquired at high prices in the international market

FOOD INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE

- During the period analyzed in this report, losses in this sector amount to 413,793,100 dollars

- The impossibility of placing our products in the U.S. market continues

TOURISM

- From January through March 13, 2018, the arrival of U.S. visitors decreased by 43%, which means 51,677 fewer travelers than in the same period of 2017

- A total of 240 tourist groups made cancellations with travel agencies as a result of alerts issued by the State Department

- Online sales of 99% of Gaviota Hotel Group hotels were affected

TELECOMUNICATIONS

Etecsa (Cuba’s telecommunications company) suffered damages of 60,143,000 dollars

- Reduction in Roaming Services contracts

- The OFAC imposed a fine of 1.19 million dollars on an Asian company, manufacturer of one of the most used pieces of equipment in the Cuban communications system

- It is impossible to access certain brands and/or high performance and leading equipment in the infocommunications market

- Free access from Cuba to some Internet content and information downloading services is prevented

ENERGY AND MINES

- The Energoimport Business Group was denied the purchase of spare parts to guarantee the maintenance and operation of the Gibara II Wind Farm

- The Geominsal Business Group has been attempting to acquire an ICP-MS, a necessary instrument for carrying out geological investigations, since 2015

PHARMACEUTICAL SECTOR

- Sales of the Cuban drug Heberprot-P in the U.S. market is prohibited

- The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology has seen losses on the order of 392,085 dollars, due to the need to use intermediaries in third countries for the purchase of basic production supplies

- Farmacuba saw monetary losses of 4,457,374 dollars, due to not being able to carry out its operations in U.S. dollars

INDUSTRY

From April 2017 to March 2018, the impact on this sector has amounted to 50,004,400 dollars, especially to:

- The Chemical Industry Enterprise Group

- The Cuban recycling industry, which cannot access multiple technological equipment

- The Metal Productions Company (Cometal)

TRANSPORT

From April 2017 to March 2018, damages caused by the blockade to the transport sector amounted to 101,550,000 dollars:

- Accumulative damages of 63,640,000 dollars for the flight cancellations of four U.S. airlines

- The Cuban Aviation Company (Cubana de Aviacion S.A.) has experienced difficulties on attempting to buy or lease aircraft with technical components of virtually any type of technology. It is also totally impossible to access aircraft produced by companies such as Airbus, Dassault, and Boeing

- The maintenance of aircraft by specialized agencies of virtually any country is impossible

- The Selecmar Enterprise saw losses of 13,420,000 dollars in merchant ship and cruise ship activities, mainly due to the prohibition of enlisting Cuban sailors with the U.S. companies that arrive to the island

- The tourist transportation of the Cuba Taxis Enterprise Group and the National Bus Company is also affected

FINANCES

Monetary damages amounted to 538,300,000 dollars. The Cuban banking system was damaged by incidents reported in 128 foreign banks, due to:

- The impossibility of using the U.S. dollar in Cuban commercial and financial transactions abroad

- Difficulties related to accessing new technologies

- Cancellation of SWIFT RMA keys by 20 foreign banks

- Application to close Cuban accounts by four foreign banking entities

- Closure of and refusal to open accounts for Cuban embassies and diplomats abroad, as well as the offices of Cuban entities

- Refusal of 14 entities to transfer funds to or from Cuba and to provide other banking services

- Retention of funds and uncertainty about their destination

- Refusal to process and/or report matters related to credit card transactions to Cuba

- Rejection of banking operations

- Cancellation of banking operations and signed agreements

FOREIGN TRADE

Losses amount to 3,343,400,000 dollars

- Revenues foregone for exports of goods amount to 2,475,900,000 dollars

- Cuba lost 867,500,000 dollars due to geographic relocation

- The cost of financing based on “country-risk rates” increased, which is estimated at 54,326,250 dollars

- The lack of access to bank or soft loans forced Cuban companies to work with commercial loans granted by the suppliers themselves under more disadvantaged conditions

- The damages due to the use of intermediaries and the consequent increase in the cost of goods reached 59,825,479 dollars

- It is estimated that the impossibility of placing Habanos S.A. products in the U.S. market has caused losses of 134,500,000 dollars

- The Food Marketing Company (Alimport) saw losses of 3,533,271 dollars, as a result of having to purchase products in more distant markets

LATEST EXAMPLES OF THE EXTRATERRITORIAL NATURE OF THE BLOCKADE:

September 18, 2017

The French branch of the company Forax informed the Cuban Mission to UNESCO that it would cancel all fuel cards linked to the Mission.

October 28, 2017

Australian private banks Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ),

Commonwealth, Saint George, Bendigo and Westpac, continued to hamper transactions related to Cuba.

October 28, 2017

It was learned that the bank Anz told the New Zealand travel agency World

Journeys that it should suspend its direct or indirect operations with Cuba or it would be required to close its corporate account with the banking institution.

November 27, 2017

Chilean private banks Banco de Credito de Inversiones de Chile, Banco

Edwards, Banco de Chile, ITAN, BBVA Chile and the governmental Banco Estado, refused to transfer the funds raised by the Chilean Solidarity with Cuba Movement for the recovery from the damages caused by Hurricane Irma.

August 18, 2017

It was learned that a branch of the Westpac bank in New Zealand temporarily stopped a transfer from the New Zealand company Havana Coffee Works, for the payment of an purchase of coffee in Vanuatu, due to the company name containing the word “Havana.”

February 2018

The Sheraton Addis Hotel, in Ethiopia, following indications received from its headquarters in the United States, refused to reserve rooms for a Cuban delegation visiting the country, under the pretext of the blockade regulations.

April 27, 2018

FedEx Express canceled the Embassy of Cuba in Antigua and Barbuda’s account, arguing that the company and its international subsidiaries are subject to the laws of the United States.

May 21, 2018

It was learned that the Argentine online payment company Prisma (Todo Pago), withdrew its services from the subsidiary of Havanatur S.A. in Argentina, claiming that this entity is included on the OFAC sanctions list.

OPPOSITION TO THE BLOCKADE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY:

September 13, 2017

The negative effects of the blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba were denounced and a call for its elimination was heard in the 36th session of the Human Rights Council.

September 14, 2017

The biennial debate on unilateral coercive measures was held. In addition to the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of African States, the Group of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Cuba, on behalf of a group of countries, 15 other developing countries voiced opposition to the blockade.

September 22, 2017

The Ministerial Declaration of the Group of 77 and China once again condemned the blockade of Cuba and the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against developing countries. The text was adopted at the 41st Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group.

September 2017

During the seventy-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, 37 heads of delegations spoke in favor of lifting the blockade on Cuba.

November 1st, 2017

Forty-one speakers from all regions of the world participated in the debate on the Report presented by Cuba, which called for the immediate lifting of the blockade. The representatives of the Group of 77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Caribbean Community, the Group of African States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, stood out in their remarks.

RESULTS OF THE 2017 UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY VOTE ON THE RESOLUTION AGAINST THE BLOCKADE:

191 in FAVOR or ending the blockade

2 AGAINST

0 ABSTENTIONS