End the US Blockade against Cuba Now!
The US has imposed commercial, financial and economic blockade against Cuba for 60 years now. Under conditions of a global crisis and a raging pandemic, the blockade that has intensified since the Trump administration until today, has placed the Cuban people in a particularly dire situation affecting their access to essential products, services, and medicines, their well-being, their integrity as human beings.
The Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) firmly believes that this illegal and unjust persecution of Cuba by the United States should stop now.
The 243 measures taken by the Trump government against Cuba aimed to cut off all sources of incomes for the country and lay an economic siege on the revolutionary government. These are new and extreme actions in line with his campaign of “maximum pressure,” harassment and economic piracy, the combined impact of which makes it severely difficult for Cuba to access legitimate income, to carry out financial operations necessary for trade, investment and essential production processes.
The sanctions against owners, operators and charterers of 59 vessels that transported fuel to Cuba clearly demonstrate that the objective was to disable Cuba’s operation as a country; to deprive the population of essential services such as gas, transportation and electricity; and, as former Secretary Mike Pompeo told European diplomats, to “starve” the island to bring down the regime. Clearly, Washington has not deviated from its policy since January 1960 when President Eisenhower argued for blockading Cuba with the statement: "If they (the Cuban people) are hungry, they will throw Castro out."
That’s why, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit populations and weaken economies, and Cuba continues to respond to calls for assistance in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and even in Europe, the US continues to tighten its grip on the blockade against Cuba. The blockade reflects in utter shortage of essential products for people’s consumption, in the difficulty for Cuba to acquire the necessary materials for food preservation, and production of medicines. Cuba was not able to access 32 equipment and supplies necessary for Covid-19 vaccine production like those needed for the purification of vaccine candidates, production equipment accessories, tanks and filtration capsules, potassium chloride solution, thimerosal, bags and reagents.
Washington has taken advantage of the pandemic to double down on its coercive measures against Cuba. It fraudulently added Cuba to the List of States Sponsoring Terrorism. Announced in January 2021, this unilateral action is lacking in moral and legal justification. Afraid of the long reach of the financial surveillance system of Washington, many banks in the world shut their operations with Cuba and Cuban Citizens, thus worsening the country’s difficulty in participating in international trade, in carrying out financial operations and in acquiring basic supplies. This impacts every sphere of Cuban society.
These cruel coercive actions against Cuba that started during Eisenhower’s time have worsened through the years, have been perfected by the Trump administration and are allowed in place by the present Biden government.
The United Nations, guided by the principles of sovereign equality of States, non -intervention and non-interference in their internal affairs and freedom of international trade and navigation, should vote against the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba; and countries should press the Biden administration to end it now.
PhilCuba commends the Philippine government for consistently voting against the blockade. (#)