The over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba, which US authorities insist in terming “embargo” is a flagrant violation of the Cuban people’s human rights, according to opinions by citizens, collected in Havana by Prensa Latina news agency.
Osvaldo Hernandez, a self-employed barber, said that most Cubans were born under the US measure, “that was the case of my children and grandchildren,” he said.
Rodolfo Lima a worker at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport said “this (the blockade) is economic warfare.”
“That hostile policy makes vulnerable the right to living, because it even bans the purchase of medicines and health technologies,” said lawyer Maria Seibanes, who pointed out that “the prohibitions imposed by the blockade, signed into law, are aimed at asphyxiating Cuban economy and hinder social and economic development.”
Seibanes added that the US anti-Cuba measures also affect American citizens and other nationals, “since the blockade applies extraterritorial jurisdiction and chases any relations between Cuba and third countries or people from other nations.”
On Monday, the local press recalled a memorandum dated April 6, 1960, in which assistant deputy secretary of state for Inter-American Affairs Lester D. Mallory, under President Dwight Eisenhower, explained the objective of the US sanctions by saying that they must be rapidly enforced to weaken the economic life of Cuba.
He said that a major that could have a strong impact would be the denial of all kind of funding or money transfer to Cuba, which would reduce income and real salaries and would also cause hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the government.
The economic damage inflicted on Cuba amounted to over 108 billion dollars up to December 2011, according to conservative statistics released by the Cuban Foreign Ministry. The figure could be even larger bearing in mind the devaluation of the US dollar against gold at the world financial market.
The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly and repeatedly voted over the past two decades in favor of a Cuban resolution demanding the lifting of the US economic blockade; however, Washington has turned a deaf ear to the international claim.
Other regional organizations have also rejected the extra-territorial US policy, such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).