The Cuban FM claimed the right of his people to live without a blockade

This June 23, Cuba once again raised its voice before the United Nations General Assembly to demand the end of the US siege, which for more than 60 years has hindered the development of the Cuban society, mutilating the aspirations of so many families.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- On behalf of the Caribbean nation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, presented the resolution entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba;” a document that argues the tangible and accounting impact of the cruel sanctions, exacerbated in the context of confrontation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Precisely, the epidemiological situation did not allow Cuba to present the draft resolution last year, and the debate and voting session was postponed until 2021. The main effects caused by that policy from April to December 2020 are attached to that report.

In those months, the siege caused damages to the Island of some 3,586.9 million dollars, a figure that, added to the losses of the previous period, accounts for 9,157.2 million dollars, from April 2019 to December 2020.

At the beginning of his presentation, the Cuban Foreign Minister stated that the U.S. government assumed the virus as an ally in its ruthless unconventional war, evidenced by its upsurge. This is demonstrated by the increase in the persecution of financial and commercial transactions, intimidation with the application of the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act to foreign investors and commercial entities.

“It also impeded the regular and institutional flow of remittances to Cuban families, it dealt hard blows to the self-employed sector, and hampered ties with Cubans residing in the United States and family reunification.”
The head of the Cuban diplomacy recalled the 243 unilateral coercive measures applied during the term of former President Donald Trump, which are still in force; among them the inclusion of the Caribbean nation in the State Department's list of countries that are supposedly sponsors of terrorism.

Rodríguez Parilla pointed out that the human damage is incalculable, and is difficult to measure the impact that the blockade has caused on those who live on the Island, especially in the midst of the epidemiological context.

The Foreign Minister remembered that Cuba has been denied access to medical technologies of U.S. origin and they must be obtained through intermediaries at high prices. This impediment greatly impacts the current confrontation with COVID-19 by hindering the acquisition of mechanical pulmonary ventilators, masks, diagnostic kits, suits, gloves, reagents, and other supplies and resources.

He also highlighted how Cuba activated its Health System and developed an effective protocol to confront the virus and protect its population. It was possible with the support of the people, especially the youngsters who went to the risk areas to carry out the investigations. "All this effort by the nation has made it possible to maintain a comparatively low lethality of the pandemic, especially among health personnel, infants, children, and pregnant women."

Rodríguez Parrilla highlighted that the island has produced five vaccine candidates and intends to vaccinate 70 percent of its population this summer, and all before the end of 2021.

When the campaign to discredit Cuban medical cooperation programs intensified, Cuba sent 57 specialized brigades of the “Henry Reeve” International Contingent to 40 countries, which joined other professionals who were already serving in 59 nations.

The Cuban Foreign Minister said that the blockade also makes it difficult for the national financing industry to import inputs for food production. He said that Cuban families suffer anxiety and despair at the shortage and instability of essential products.

He affirmed that the siege constitutes a massive, flagrant, and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cuban women and men, and qualifies as an act of genocide under the 1948 Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Thousands of families suffer the impact of this genocidal act, from both sides. He mentioned the aggressive attack on remittances, the elimination or minimization of contacts, and communication.

Cuba claims that the U.S. leaves us in peace, to live without blockade, that the persecution of our commercial and financial ties cease, said the Chancellor.

Despite the intensified policy, the most complex and prolonged that has been imposed against any country, Cuba arrives at the UN in 2021 with the immense satisfaction of achieving that two of its five vaccine candidates exceed the efficacy percentage rate required by the World Health Organization to declare them as vaccines. A fact that adds to the solidarity of a country that, despite constant slander, extends its medical collaboration program during the current health emergency.