Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba

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Cuba’s Report

Resolution 65/6 of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”
July 2011


CHAPTER I. Continued policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. 4

1.1 Principal measures to continue the blockade adopted by the US government. 5

1.2 Extraterritorial application of the blockade. 6

1.3 Adverse effects of the blockade on cooperation with multilateral organizations 10


2.1 Adverse effects in the areas of health care and food 11

2.2 Negative impact on academic, scientific, cultural and sport exchanges 14


3.1 Adverse effects on foreign trade 17

3.2 Adverse effects on foreign investment 18

3.3 Adverse effects on the financial and banking sectors 20

3.4 Section 211 of the 1999 US Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act and new aggressions regarding patents and trademarks. 21



5.1 Unprecedented opposition within the United States. 27

5.2 International Opposition. 30



The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government against Cuba has been maintained and further tightened despite the growing and categorical demand by the international community —in particular the United Nations General Assembly— for its elimination.

While the current US government has taken some positive steps, they are insufficient and extremely limited in scope. Furthermore, they are not intended to alter the complex structure of laws, regulations and provisions that make up the blockade policy against Cuba.
The Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Export Administration Act of 1979, the Torricelli Act of 1992, the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, and export administration regulations are all currently in force. These laws are part of the legal framework of a policy defined as an act of genocide by virtue of the Geneva Convention of 1948 on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and as an act of economic warfare as outlined in the Declaration Concerning the Laws of Naval War adopted by the London Naval Conference of 1909.
As a consequence of the rigorous and fierce implementation of those statutes and other regulatory provisions, Cuba continues to be prohibited from freely exporting and importing goods and services to or from the United States, and it cannot use the US dollar in its international financial transactions or hold accounts in that currency in third country banks. Nor is Cuba permitted access to credit from US banks or any of their branch offices in third countries, or from international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or the Inter-American Development Bank.
Despite the official rhetoric intended to persuade international public opinion into believing that the current US government has implemented a policy of positive changes, Cuba remains unable to trade with any subsidiaries of US companies based in third countries; and businesspersons from third countries interested in investing in Cuba are systematically harassed and blacklisted.
One of the distinctive characteristics of the current US administration’s implementation of the blockade has been an upsurge in the persecution of Cuba’s international financial transactions, including those that stem from multilateral organizations that cooperate with Cuba.
Currently, the leaders of the most vicious anti-Cuban groups in control of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs are preparing to deal a new blow as part of their incessant obsession with the island aimed at preventing and hindering the presence in Cuba of foreign companies interested in oil exploration in Cuba’s exclusive economic zone.

One example of how the actions against Cuba recognize no borders or sovereignties is the request made to the US Secretary of State by Florida Senator Bill Nelson. On May 19, Senator Nelson called on the US government to intervene before the Spanish government to force Spanish oil company Repsol to stop oil exploration works it had scheduled to carry out in Cuba. In addition, a top-level political delegation headed by US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar went to Madrid to pursue this same objective.

As stated in this report, the direct economic damages caused to the Cuban people by the implementation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the United States against Cuba up until December of 2010, at current prices and based on very conservative estimates, amounts to more than 104 billion dollars.
Taking into account the extreme devaluation of the dollar against the price of gold on the international financial market during 2010 and this continual trend, the damages caused to the Cuban economy would exceed 975 billion dollars.

CHAPTER I. Continued policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.

The United States’ economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba continues to be fully applied. The legal basis behind this policy remains intact and the political, administrative and repressive mechanisms aimed at a more efficient implementation of the blockade, particularly the persecution and harassment of Cuba’s commercial and financial transactions around the world have been intensified.

Exports of every sort of goods and services by Cuba to the United States continue to be banned, as have exports of virtually any goods or services from the United States to Cuba, with very few exceptions and under very strict regulations. Merchant ships of any country touching Cuban ports are still forbidden to call on any US port for a period of 180 days.
No company affiliated to or sharing interests with any US company is allowed to trade with any Cuban company, regardless of the relations that may exist between Cuba and the country where the company is based, the laws in force in its country of origin or the norms of international law. Those companies based in third countries that have commercial relations with Cuba are subject to persecution, threats and sanctions by US government authorities no matter where in the world they might be and regardless of their origin, patrimony and whether or not they have ties with the United States.
The persecution of Cuba’s financial transactions with third countries has intensified regardless of the relations these countries may have with Cuba, the currency used in those transactions or the applicable banking norms in the countries involved.
As a rule of law, the US government prevents its citizens from travelling to Cuba, with very few exceptions and under very strict regulations.
The US government continues to publicly assert its alleged need to preserve the blockade as “a tool to apply pressure” and maintains its conditions regarding internal order in Cuba as a prerequisite to modify its policy towards the island. Evidently, it has no intention whatsoever to bring about a change in its policy towards the Island or abide by the resolutions that have been repeatedly adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that call for an end to this inhumane policy.
The measures announced by the US government on January 14, 2011 —including lifting the travel ban to Cuba for US citizens for academic, educational, cultural and religious purposes; authorizing remittances in limited quantities by US citizens to Cuban citizens; and authorizing US international airports to request permission to operate direct charter flights to Cuba under certain conditions— are insufficient and limited in scope.
Essentially these measures are not indicative of the United States government’s will to substantially change its blockade policy, but rather reflect the increasing opposition to the blockade by broad sectors of the US public.
By implementing the measures announced on January 14, the US government was aiming to portray a positive image of its failed policy towards Cuba at a time when domestic and international opposition to that policy was overwhelming. However, such measures are fundamentally limited to reinstating some provisions that were in effect in the 1990s under the Clinton administration and were discontinued by George W. Bush beginning in 2003. The constitutional right of US citizens to travel freely continues to be an illusion in the 21st century. They continue to be the only citizens in the world who are forbidden to travel to Cuba.
Upon announcing these measures, the US government very clearly stated that the blockade will remain intact and that it intends to use these measures to strengthen the mechanisms of subversion and interference in Cuba’s internal affairs.

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