U.S. BLOCKADE OF CUBA
case of genocide
Livia Rodríguez Delis
AFTER the U.S. Federal Reserve fined
a Swiss bank $100 million (84 million euros) in 2004
for sending money to Cuba, among other sanctioned
countries, Cuban María González, secretary of an
enterprise and a single parent, has been unable to
receive the economic help her mother had been
sending her from another country.
"I don’t understand why they do that,
since we have not committed any crime. Fortunately,
my son is healthy and my problems are only economic
ones, but I know sick children who need special
treatment and their medicines are delayed too long;
they have to be found in distant countries when they
could be bought – close to here – in the United
It is a fact that the U.S. blockade
of Cuba continues to be an inhumane reality for the
Cuban people, made concrete in the damage suffered
by all sectors of the country for more than 50 years.
The Cuban report on UN Resolution
67/4, to be debated and put to a vote in the General
Assembly of the organization for the 23rd time on
October 29, demonstrates the continuity of this
genocidal policy and its effects which, considering
the depreciation of the dollar in relation to the
gold standard on the international market, had
ascended to more than one trillion dollars by April
of this year.
There are countless examples which
confirm the determination of the U.S. government to
maintain the unilateral and extraterritorial measure,
flouting its documented rejection by the
international community, as well as enterprises and
individuals within the United States.
A March 3, 2013 editorial in the
Bloomberg business and financial news publication
stated that, from 2000-2006, the White House opened
11,000 investigations in the country for alleged
violations of sanctions against Cuba and stressed
that a further 7,000 were being carried out in
relation to other nations.
At the same time, the U.S.
administration continues to pursue everything which
represents a business opportunity for Cuba through
the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which
has imposed a large number of fines on enterprises,
banks and non-governmental organizations which have
maintained commercial relations with the island.
One example of that is the sanction
of more than one million dollars imposed on the
Great Western Malting Co, for facilitating the sale
by one of its overseas branches of malted barley, or
the fine of more than eight million received by the
Japanese Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, for
processing financial transfers from a group of
countries, including Cuba.
The $6,500 fine imposed on U.S.
citizen Zachary Sanders for traveling to Cuba
without a license granted by the Treasury Department
or the blocking of the purchase of 100 copies of the
book The Economic War against Cuba. A Historical
and Legal Perspective on the U.S. Blockade, by
Salim Lamrani, which the non-governmental UK
Cuba Solidarity Campaign was interested in buying
from the New York Monthly Review Press publishing
house, could both be described as ridiculous.
The costs generated by Cuba in
purchasing medication, reagents, spare parts for
diagnostic equipment and treatment, instruments etc,
as well as the necessary utilization of
intermediaries in the acquisition of these are of
great magnitude. This has a direct effect on the
population, due to the deterioration of the quality
of health services, within the reach of everyone in
The food sector is one of the most
affected, given that one of the central objectives
of the blockade is to dishearten the Cuban
population and force the people to surrender out of
Even though the purchase of certain
U.S. agricultural products is permissible, this kind
of business is carried out under an unequitable
regimen, as Cuba cannot sell its products on the U.S.
market and cannot use dollars in its transactions,
among other restrictions.
Education, culture and sports are
also constantly hit by this economic warfare, which
prevents Cuban students from obtaining school
equipment, materials and the exchange of scientific,
cultural and sports information involving the United
Measures designed to prohibit or
condition the normal development of academic
exchange, student and professor travel, the flow of
scientific information and the acquisition of
supplies, media and teaching tools, research and
scientific work in general are significant.
As is the case with foreign trade,
international investment is another target of the
economic blockade, given that it is fundamental to
the country’s development.
The growing cost of financing,
freight and maritime transportation, combined with
pressure on foreign enterprises, all provoke delays
in the Cuban investment process and prevent the
establishment of joint ventures.
The construction, tourism,
communications, energy and mining, civil aviation
sectors also feel the impact, given greater
financial costs associated with obstacles in bank
transactions and the obligatory addition expenses to
which they are subjected by the obsessive, inhuman
and despicable persecution of the Cuban Revolution.