US Blockade on Cuba, An Ever-Present Issue at UN

By Ibis Frade Brito

United Nations, Sep 3 (Prensa Latina) The damage caused by the United States’ blockade on Cuba, which has been tightened recently, is a recurrent issue all year around at high-level meetings and events at the United Nations” headquarters in New York.

In addition, it obstructs the daily work of Cuban diplomats before that international organization by imposing several restrictions on them.

For example, the blockade hinders Cuba’s payments of its financial contributions to the UN and prevents the Caribbean island from timely complying with its monetary commitments to international agencies and agreements.

After the rapprochement boosted over the last years of the Barak Obama administration, relations between Washington and Havana have undergone a rollback since President Donald Trump took office, as Cuban Ambassador before the UN Anayansi Rodriguez has denounced repeatedly.

At the latest meeting with the Cuban community in the United States, the diplomat noted that such a policy is not supported by most Cubans who live in this country.

Only minority sectors of Cuban émigrés, interested in maintaining an atmosphere of confrontation, back that hostile mechanism, she pointed out at the event in May.

Rodriguez also expressed gratitude for the countless shows of solidarity in the actions to demand an end to the US blockade imposed on Cuba for nearly six decades.

This economic, commercial and financial siege imposed by the US government, and condemned by an overwhelming majority at the UN General Assembly for 26 consecutive years, has been reinforced by the Trump administration, the minister counselor of the Cuban Embassy, Jorge Alberto Ferrer, stressed recently.

At the Forum on Cooperation for Development of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), held in April, the diplomat noted that the blockade affects the Cuban people’s sustainable development and must be lifted without delay and unconditionally.

At the Commission on Women’s Juridical and Social Condition, held in May, the Cuban delegation assured that the blockade is a form of direct and indirect violence that affects and hinders the enjoyment of Cuban women’s fundamental rights.

Also in May, on the launch of the International Decade for Action under the slogan ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ (2018-2028), Cuban Ambassador Anayansi Rodriguez explained how the economic, commercial and financial blockade has created major limitations and obstacles to access new technologies and products from the water industry and its benefits.

Another sensitive sector on which the effects of the US blockade are felt is health care, as demonstrated at a session of the UN General Assembly in April, when the world response to HIV-AIDS was debated.

Although Cuba has shown that the government’s will can influence positively on prevention and on guaranteeing a dignified life for people suffering from HIV or AIDS, the blockade creates huge material shortages to provide patients with treatment, the Cuban ambassador underlined.

On August 24, the Cuban Foreign Ministry published the annual report on the damage caused by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States.

According to the document, which covers the period between April 2017 and March 2018, the US siege caused Cuba to lose some 4.321 billion dollars.

The report, which supports a draft resolution submitted by Cuba to the UN General Assembly, contains sections on the damage caused on major social sectors.

That is the case of food, health care and education, the right to development and the damage to foreign trade and finances.

For Cuba, the US blockade is a mass, flagrant and systematic violation of the entire people’s human rights, and an act of genocide by virtue of the Convention for the Prevention and Sanction of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.

On October 31, the UN General Assembly will vote, for the twenty-seventh consecutive year, a draft resolution that demands an end to the US blockade on Cuba.

Since 1992, the draft resolution has been supported by the majority of the UN General Assembly’s members.

On the last three occasions, 191 of 193 UN member States have voted in favor of the document. In the 2017 voting, only the United States and Israel opposed Cuba’s draft resolution.

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