The Philippines Should Vote to Lift the US Blockade against Cuba
The United States, by applying a severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions against Cuba that amounts to a commercial, financial and economic blockade, is very unjust and is obstructing the development of the Cuban economy and preventing the people from fully enjoying all human rights.
As the UN General Assembly will again be voting on the resolution asking the US to lift its monstrous blockade against Cuba, the Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba), an agglomeration of educators; writers; workers’, women’s and youth organizations; NGO workers; health enthusiasts; businesspersons, etc., asks the government of the Philippines to deliver a strong vote in support of the resolution and stress our country’s opposition to US’s hegemonic use of sanctions.
For 56 years now, the US has been imposing this extraterritorial blockade on the pretext that the Cuban government is authoritarian, that it has failed the Cuban people and that it has been violating the Cuban people’s rights. This is a blatant lie. The Cuban government has proved to be very responsive not only to the needs and demands of its own people but also to the needs of peoples of other countries in dire situations.
Despite its financial difficulty that the blockade exacerbated, Cuba gives primacy to the health and education of its people. It spends for the education, including food and uniforms of all children of schooling age. It has developed a very strong force of medical and health professionals, one of the main reasons behind the very low infant and maternal mortality rate and a life expectancy rate of the same level as that of developed countries. It has developed some of the potent vaccines and other medicines that people of other countries also want to access.
Cuba’s developments in the field of medicine, health care and training of doctors have benefited a big number of countries. It provides more medical and health personnel to the developing world than all G8 countries combined. Together with Venezuela, Cuba is training the biggest number of doctors not only for its own needs but also for countries in the Caribbean, in South America, Africa and the Pacific. It has been sending doctors and other workers to help people during disasters in Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Banda Ache, Sri Lanka. Pakistan, the Caribbean and West Africa.
Cuba has much to share to the world as it needs to access from other countries things that their plants, laboratories and farms cannot produce.
PhilCuba members, as co-host of the Eighth Asia Pacific Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in April 2017 learned, that the blockade denies Cuban cancer patients access to a very important drug used for chemotherapy. Cuba’s inquiry towards purchasing a robotic surgical system is not answered. Cuba has to buy from distant sources to procure high-tech equipment, cardiac valves, other devices. The blockade has limited Cuba’s access to scientific information and computer tools. It reduced academic exchanges.
These are but a few of the many things deprived of the Cuban people. Peoples of many countries, especially developing ones are also denied Cuba’s advances in biopharmaceutical research, and its help in putting in place real universal health care systems.
Thus, PhilCuba believes: the blockade an irrational policy. It is inhuman. The blockade should be lifted!