US must unconditionally end unjust blockade that has brought suffering to the Cuban people for almost 60 years

Dear Editor,

The United Nations General Assembly will consider the Draft Resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, for the 26th consecutive time.

The blockade of the United States against Cuba was imposed unilaterally 55 years ago. More than 70 percent of the Cuban population has been born and raised under the application of this policy, which hinders the economic development of Cuba and constitutes a flagrant violation of the human rights of the Cuban people.

This policy has caused massive losses to the Cuban people for almost six decades. In addition, the blockade has a markedly extraterritorial character, which is reflected, among other examples, in the financial persecution against third country banks and in the imposition of new fines on institutions on the grounds of violating what is regulated by the government of the States United in relation to Cuba. This has led many banking institutions to close Cuban accounts and adopt measures that hinder and complicate the normal functioning of the banking system on the Island.

In Cuba’s report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the implementation of resolution A / RES / 71/5 on the blockade, numerous examples of damage caused to the Cuban people are described in the period between April 2016 and June 2017  https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/1304108/files/A_72_94-EN.pdf. The Cuban people’s website www.cubavsbloqueo.cu contains additional information of interest.

During the years 2015 and 2016, the international community was optimistic about the progress between Cuba-United States relations, as well as about President Barack Obama’s assertion that the blockade was a failed policy that harmed the Cuban people and should be lifted.

The advances made during that period demonstrated that Cuba and the United States can live together in a civilized way, respecting their differences and cooperating for the benefit of both countries and peoples.

However, on June 16th  this year, US President, Donald Trump, proclaimed the blockade as a cornerstone of his policy and announced a series of measures aimed at intensifying it.

This decision not only reverses the limited progress achieved in the last two years, but also means a setback in the relations, characterized by aggression and the strengthening of unilateral sanctions.

It is worth reiterating that the blockade qualifies as an act of genocide, under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, and as an act of economic warfare, in accordance with the Declaration on the Law of Maritime War, adopted by the London Naval Conference of 1909.

However, Cuba and the United States are not at war. Military aggressions against the United States have never been organized or carried out from Cuban territory, nor have violent acts against the American people been promoted.

Cuba reaffirms its willingness to continue a respectful dialogue and co-operation on issues of mutual interest and to negotiate pending bilateral issues with the United States on the basis of equality, reciprocity, respect for Cuba’s sovereignty and independence.

Cuba will not make concessions of any kind nor renounce one of its principles.

The United States must, unilaterally and unconditionally, end the unjust blockade that has brought suffering to the Cuban people for almost 60 years. It is the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has been ever applied against any country.

In this context, the international community’s traditional demand for an end to the blockade is of particular importance. Last year, 191 members of the United Nations demanded an end to this unjust policy.

Again, the Cuban government on behalf of its heroic people will denounce the strengthening of this policy and will present the aforementioned resolution.

Cuba reiterates its permanent gratitude to the international community for demanding a lifting of this illegal, genocidal and extraterritorial policy, which will never prevent the Cuban people from defending their sovereignty and their right to freely choose their future.

At the same time, Cuba recognizes the traditional contribution of Guyana among those who have courageously denounced the policy of blockade against Cuba, both within the framework of the United Nations and at the regional level; being significant its firm support and principles to the calls of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for its lifting.

I reiterate the gratitude of the Cuban people and government for the backing received and the confidence that we can count on the support of Guyana and the international community in the legitimate demand to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on our country.

 

Yours faithfully,

Julio César González Marchante

Cuban Ambassador to the

Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

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