EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE REPORT BY CUBA ON RESOLUTION 61/11 OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
‘’ NECESSITY OF ENDING THE ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL BLOCKADE IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGANINST CUBA’’ JULY 2007
For the fifteenth consecutive time, Cuba submits to the General Assembly the draft resolution entitled “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo Imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”
The economic war unleashed by the US against Cuba, the longest and most ruthless ever known, qualifies as an act of genocide and constitutes a flagrant violation of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations. Throughout these 48 years, the US blockade has caused economic damage to Cuba of over US$ 86 billion. Seven in every 10 Cubans have lived, right from their birth, suffering from and enduring the effects of the blockade, which attempts to defeat us through hunger and disease.
The blockade prevents Cuba from trading with the US and receiving tourism from this country. It prevents Cuba from using the US dollar in its external transactions and receiving credits or engaging in operations with US banks or their subsidiaries in other countries.
The blockade does not allow the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank to even give a modest credit to Cuba.
But more serious than all that is that the US blockade imposes its criminal provisions on Cuba’s relations with other countries that make up this General Assembly.
The blockade prevents Cuba’s trade with companies based in your countries, delegates, not only US companies but also companies from the countries that you represent in this Assembly and which are subsidiaries of US corporations. Nor can vessels with flags from your countries call at US ports, delegates, if they previously carried goods from or towards Cuba. That is the Torricelli Act, signed by President Bush Sr. in 1992.
The US blockade also prevents the companies from the rest of the world, those of your countries, delegates, from exporting to the US any products containing Cuban raw materials; and it also prevents those companies from exporting to Cuba products or equipment containing more than 10% of American components.
The blockade, delegates, chases after the businesspeople from other countries, not only those from the US but also those from other countries, your fellow countrymen and women, who intend to make investments in Cuba. They and their families are threatened with the refusal of entry into the United States and they can even be taken to trial in US courts. That is the Helms-Burton Act of 1996.
We find it important, to inform the General Assembly on the plan for Cuba’s recolonization approved by President Bush in May 2004 and updated in July 2006. It clearly recognizes what the US Government would do in our country if it ever had it under its control.
According to the President of the United States, what is most important is to return all of the properties in Cuba to their former owners. That would include, for example, taking away the land from the hundreds of thousands of farmers who now own in Cuba their land either individually or in cooperatives, in order to reinstate the landowners’ system. That would also imply evicting millions of Cuban proprietors from their homes in order to return their properties or plots of land to their former claimants.
President Bush described it as an accelerated process and under the complete control of the US Government – which, for those purposes, would set up the so-called Commission for the Restitution of Property Rights.
Another structure would also be put in place, the Permanent Committee of the US Government for Cuba’s Economic Reconstruction, which would run the process of implementing in Cuba a very harsh neoliberal adjustment program, including the unbridled privatization of education and health services and the elimination of social security and welfare. Retirements and pensions would be removed and retirees would be offered the chance to do construction work as part of a so-called Body of Cuban Retirees.
President Bush recognizes in his plan that “it will not be easy” to apply this plan in Cuba. Therefore, he instructs the State Department to create a repressive apparatus “as an immediate priority,” which we imagine will be trained in the brutal techniques of asphyxiation that Vice-President Cheney does not consider as torture, in order to stifle the unrelenting endurance of the Cuban people. It is even recognized that “there will be a long” list of Cubans to be persecuted, tortured and massacred.
In the plan, they are even thinking of a Central Child Adoption Center to hand over to families in the United States and in other countries the children whose parents will lay down their lives fighting or become victims of repression.
All this cynical and brutal recolonization program for a country, after destroying and invading it, would be run by a character who has already been appointed and whose ridiculous post, reminiscent of Paul Bremer, is “Cuba Transition Coordinator.” A man named Caleb McCarry, whose only record of note is his close friendship with the terrorist groups of Cuban origin that are still masterminding and executing from Miami, with complete impunity, new assassination plots and acts of sabotage against Cuba. These are the same groups that are asking President Bush to release terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, the brains behind the explosion of a Cuban commercial airplane, while five courageous Cuban anti-terrorist fighters have been subjected to a ruthless and prolonged imprisonment in the United States since 1998.
Two years after its enactment, delegates, most of the plan has already been implemented.
Thus, new and greater restrictions were imposed on the family-related visits to Cuba by the Cuban residents in the United States.
The Americans who traveled to Cuba were viciously persecuted. In the course of the last two years, more than 800 people have been fined for traveling to our country.
Additional constraints were imposed on the sending of remittances to Cuba.
Academic, cultural, scientific and sports exchanges have been virtually eliminated.
Since 2004, 85 companies have been penalized for allegedly violating the blockade against Cuba.
The fierce persecution against our country’s financial transactions and trade has been further intensified. And there are tangible results of the demented worldwide tracking conducted by the so-called Group for the Identification of Cuban Assets on everything that appears to be a payment from and towards Cuba.
Along with the strengthening of the blockade, in May 2004 President Bush approved another US$ 59 million to pay his scarce and disheartened mercenaries in Cuba with a view to fabricating a non-existing internal opposition and defraying propaganda campaigns and illegal radio and television broadcasts against Cuba.
But it was all in vain. President Bush realized that time was running out and he could not keep his promise to the extremist Cuban groups in Florida. His domestic and foreign woes were growing and are still growing and socialist Cuba was still there, upright and unrelenting.
Then, on 10 July 2006, President Bush added new measures to his plan.
A significant aspect of this new 93-page concoction is that it contains a secret annex, with actions against Cuba that are not made public and which, as they explain, would not be revealed “in order to achieve their effective realization” and “for national security reasons.”
Will these be new assassination plots against Cuban leaders, more terrorist acts, a military aggression? From this rostrum at the UN General Assembly, we challenge President George W. Bush today to publicly disclose the content of that document, which until today he has not been bold enough to reveal.
The plan includes the allocation of more money, of course. This time around, it is US$ 80 million in two years and no less than US$ 20 million per year until the Cuban Revolution is defeated. In other words, forever.
There is also an increase in the radio and television broadcasts against Cuba, overtly violating the standards of the International Telecommunications Union.
On the other hand, renewed efforts are being made to create a so-called “coalition” of countries to support the alleged “regime change” in Cuba.
The Bush plan is particularly emphatic on the extraterritorial implementation of the economic war against Cuba.
Thus, new mechanisms are established to improve the machinery that enforces the blockade regulations and new sanctions are being adopted. One that stands out for its novelty is the prosecution against the violators.
Under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the authorization has been announced to file lawsuits in US courts against the foreign investors in Cuba, particularly those from those countries supporting the continuity of the Cuban Revolution.
A more stringent enforcement of Title IV is also envisaged, denying entry into the US to the investors in Cuba and to their families, but aiming the persecution particularly at those investing in oil prospecting and extraction, tourism, nickel, rum and tobacco.
As a tool to track down the sales of Cuban nickel to other markets – not to the American market, but to track down the Cuban sales to companies based in the countries that you represent here in this Assembly – the so-called “Cuban Nickel Inter-Agency Task Force” was created.
Also tightened is the siege on the exchange between American and Cuban churches – and there is a ban on humanitarian donations sent to Cuban religious organizations.
But there is a new blockade measure approved by President Bush that deserves to be elaborated on. The document sets forth that the US will deny all exports of medical equipment that can be used in healthcare programs for foreign patients.
That is, the US Government, which has always gone out of its way to cause the failure of the international medical cooperation programs that Cuba is implementing, now recognizes that its persecution can even get to the point of trying to hamper Cuba’s purchase of the necessary equipment around the world.
I insist on the fact that the blockade has now come to the point of prohibiting the exchanges between churches of the US and Cuban churches; of prohibiting the churches in the US from sending to friendly churches in Cuba humanitarian donations, wheelchairs, medicines or products for humanitarian use. The blockade of President Bush against Cuba even gets to the point of a declaration of war on the US and Cuban churches. It even tries to blockade God’s mandate. And, secondly, it tries to prevent Cuba’s purchase of medical equipment for international medical cooperation programs.
If President Bush succeeded in his cynical plan, Cuba would be prevented from offering to other peoples, many of which you represent here, delegates, its modest and generous effort in a field where nobody questions our development and experience.
If the American offensive managed to curtail this endeavor, an equivalent number of people suffering from more than 20 eye diseases would lose their eyesight. The US Government knows it, but it does not give up on its morbid plan to stifle Cuba. This is just to mention those whose eyesight is taken care of and not the hundreds of millions of people benefiting from the comprehensive healthcare programs conducted by the Cuban internationalist doctors.
The Cuban people will not give up its sovereignty or its right to self determination and, despite the sanctions, will continue to maintain the efforts begun 49 years ago to build a society based on justice and solidarity that disinterestedly offers aid in a spirit of solidarity to other nations, including the United Sates. Neither will it renounce its right to economic development, whose advances have been appreciable despite the repercussions of the economic, trade and financial sanctions to which it is being subjected.
Cuba hopes to enjoy once again the support of the international community in its legitimate demand for an end to the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed on it by the government of the United States of America.