Cuban Position On New & Brutal Economic Measures
CUBAN POSITION ON THE NEW AND BRUTAL ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL MEASURES AGAINST OUR COUNTRY CONTAINED IN THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION FOR ASSISTANCE TO A FREE CUBA
- Last 6 May, the US Government announced new measures to further tighten its aggressive and hostile policy against Cuba.
- With such measures, the US Government is trying at all costs to increase the difficult conditions already imposed on us by the ruthless blockade enforced against Cuba for 45 years now – which has cost us over US$ 72 billion and is a flagrant violation of the human rights of 11 million Cubans that they are attempting to subdue through hunger and disease.
- The measures announced yesterday are also a violation of the rights of the Cuban-born citizens living in the US, who from now on will face new and draconian restrictions to travel to Cuba and send remittances to their family members in our country.
- All these measures, along with the US policy as a whole, openly disregard the real interests of the American people, the overwhelming majority of the Cubans living in the US, most of the members of the US Congress and extensive sectors of that country that are looking forward to a normal relation with Cuba.
- The blockade, which already included 8 major prohibitions, is now further tightened.
1. Cuba cannot export to the US.
- One of the first restrictions
imposed by the blockade.
- Cuba cannot engage in any sales to US businesspeople.
2. Cuba cannot import from the US.
- Only foodstuffs and on an exceptional basis.
- Our country must engage in cash-related purchases, without being able to access financial credits, not even private ones.
- US companies must go through cumbersome bureaucratic formalities to obtain the license authorizing them to sell their products to Cuba.
- Cuba cannot use its maritime fleet for such trading operations.
3. It cannot receive any tourism either.
- The US prevents its citizens from traveling to Cuba. It is the only country when they are not allowed to travel under law.
4. It cannot use the US dollar in its commercial transactions in third countries.
- Its assets in that currency can be seized. Therefore, Cuba is compelled to engage in third-country currency operations despite the fact that its main import and export items are quoted on the world market in US dollars.
5. Cuba does not have any access either to the international financial agencies.
- Not a single credit has been received in the last 45 years – from the World Bank or from the Inter-American Development Bank.
6. The Torricelli Act. Adopted in 1992.
- It abruptly curtails
the trade in medicine and food that Cuba had with
subsidiaries of US companies based outside US territory,
from which it purchased more than US$ 700 million every
- It sets forth severe prohibitions against maritime navigation from and to Cuba. If third-country ships call at Cuban ports, they cannot call at US ports until after 180 days, under the threat of being “blacklisted.”
7. The Helms-Burton Act. Adopted in 1996.
- It codifies into law all of the blockade
prohibitions and attempts to prevent foreign investments
from taking place in Cuba. It institutionalizes subversion,
as funded and orchestrated by the US Government against
- It prevents the entry into the US of those officials and company CEOs from other countries that breach the blockade against Cuba.
8. Section 211. Another ‘poorly worked out’ legislative plan.
- It allows Bacardi Co. to
steal the “Havana Club” rum brandname for the US
- Its obvious illegality has even caused the establishment of a related Panel at the WTO.
- The international instruments on intellectual property and the agreements reached on this issue at the WTO are rendered ineffective.
- The new measures are aimed at further tightening the blockade against Cuba by depriving our country of the revenues from the travels by Cuban residents in the US and the remittances. To the proposed new actions to further limit travels by US citizens to our country, we must now add an important disruption to the family visits by Cuban-Americans, as well as a limitation in the sending of family remittances.
- Likewise, with the intent to discourage foreign investments in Cuba, there are measures included to reinforce the extraterritorial nature of the blockade, since steps are proposed to study the feasibility of implementing Title III and fully enforce Title IV of the Helms-Burton Act.
- Another set of measures is intended to intensify the subversive and propaganda-oriented activities against the Cuban Revolution by increasing the funds provided to the counterrevolutionary cliques, enhancing the broadcasts by the wrongly called Radio and TV Martí and developing a campaign to try and affect Cuba’s image at the international level. To that end, some US$ 59 million will be set aside.
- Besides, Governments and NGOs from third countries are encouraged to join the US policy to overthrow the Revolution.
- On the other hand, the Commission’s report devotes hundreds of pages not only to denying all the social accomplishments of the Revolution but also to describing the promises for assistance that the US would be willing to provide to a “post-Castro government” to recolonize Cuba.
- The new measures are also an electoral scheme aimed at pleasing the demands of the Cuban-American far right – which does not give up on its desire for revenge against Cuba and which has increased the blackmail against the Bush Administration, threatening to remove the support of the Cuban vote if no decisive measures are taken to destroy the Revolution.
- We are faced with a new escalation in the aggression of the Bush Administration against Cuba, added to other recent actions, such as the cancellation of the migration talks, the allegations that the Cuban Government destabilizes other countries of the region, the attempts to link Cuba to the development of biological weapons and the accusations that our country poses a terrorist and bioterrorist threat to the US. We could also include the increase in visa denials for Cubans wishing to visit their relatives in the US; the ever-increasing prohibitions for scientists, academics, artists and athletes to enter US territory; the refusal to publish articles and works of Cuban artists, intellectuals, scientists and academics in US journals and the worsening of the persecution and the enforcement of sanctions against those American citizens who allegedly violate the blockade regulations and the travel ban to Cuba.
- In its attempt to destroy the Cuban Revolution and its example, the various US Governments have historically resorted to the most diverse means – from acts of sabotage, assassination plots against Cuba’s main leaders, terrorist actions, diplomatic isolation, biological warfare and economic blockade, all the way to direct military invasion, the dangers of which are now resurfacing under the Bush Administration.
- Despite the sacrifices that the new US aggressions may entail for Cuba, the Cuban people and its Government will defend their independence and right to self-determination, as well as the system of social justice and equality of opportunities that we have chosen in a sovereign manner.