• Losses in Cuba’s
foreign trade amount to $3.9 billion due to U.S.
extraterritorial aggression from April 2012- April
THE German pharmaceutical giant
Bayer did business with Cuba for 118 years, until
one of its regional divisions decided to change its
legal address to New Jersey in the United States.
The MEDICUBA enterprise, responsible for importing
supplies for the health sector, was then obliged to
cancel contracts to acquire contrast agents for
radiological tests (Ultravist) and medicaments for
the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis (Interferon
This produced a lack of supplies in
the first quarter of 2013, with the consequent
effects on patients.
This case demonstrates the
extraterritorial nature of the blockade, which
prevents enterprises from any nation undertaking
commercial transactions with enterprises of Cuban
origin if the former have any branches in the United
States or interests with U.S. companies, regardless
of their countries’ relations with Cuba, laws in
effect there or the regulations of international law,
as stated in a press conference by Luis Díaz Barroso
who, until September 1 this year, worked in the
Havana division of Bayer Handelsgesellschaft mbH.
Impediments to the purchase of
medication essential to the health of the Cuban
people are just one aspect of the many ramifications
of the blockade onforeign trade, which from April
2012-April 2013 registered losses of close to $4
billion for this reason.
Pedro Luis Padrón, director of U.S.
Commercial Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Trade
and Investment (MINCEX), stated in a meeting with
journalists in Havana that the figure is 10% higher
than the previous period.
"The principal damage is registered
in income not perceived through the export of goods
and services, which represent 78% of all
affectations." he added.
If it were able to place its
products of recognized international quality on the
U.S. market, the TABACUBA cigar company would have
generated income of an additional $121 million.
Similarly, the Havana Club International joint
venture lost approximately $73 million due to the
exclusion of rums made with the famous Cuban sugar
These two enterprises additionally
face the theft of their brands in the United States,
in violation of international legislation, plus the
deception of clients who buy products bearing a
Cuban label which are not manufactured in the
In the strategic sector of
foodstuffs – the prices of which are increasing
daily because of climate change, demographic growth
and speculation, among other factors – the Cuban
ALIMPRT company lost $45 million since it has no
access to U.S. banks, as any other buyer does, and a
further $20 million to pay in other currencies and
Money that could be used to buy
larger volumes of food for the population, Padrón
explained, must be used to pay freight charges
costing an additional 24%, with the aggravating
factor that ships docking in Cuban ports must return
empty to the United States.
The blockade not only affects buying
and selling, but the entire economic process. Padrón
detailed how obtaining finance abroad has increased
by 76% given the perception of Cuba as a high-risk
country, the result of pressure brought to bear by
Foreign investment is likewise
affected by the U.S. blockade. The MINCEX official
cited the case of the oil industry, where contracts
with foreign companies with drilling equipment have
become more expensive, given that the technologies
they use must not have more than 10% U.S. components.
At the same time, he added, damage
to the tourism, energy, mining, agricultural and
industrial sectors continues to be significant. •