What reasons have existed or prevail to blockade Cuba? The socialist nature of its political-social project? The decision of its Revolution and people – one and the same – to undertake its own model of development? Has Cuba by any chance been a country that threatens the national security of the United States? What is it charged of? Of its one-party system? because all of its citizens, without exception, have the right to health, education and a decent living? What is required of Cuba so that absurd and anachronistic action -punitive as it is- of clearly violent nature ends?
If we look at U.S. relations with the world over the years, this analysis would be, at first glance, the overwhelming evidence that disqualifies such behavior, which violates international law.
For some time past, dictatorial governments have succeeded each other in Latin America, dictatorships that violated human rights, murdered journalists, intellectuals, artists, fighters for civil and labor demands, trade unionists, legitimately elected presidents and opposition leaders.
Names sadly remembered like Anastasio Somoza, Marcos Pérez Jiménez, Fulgencio Batista, Alfredo Stroessner, Juan Maria Bordaberry, Augusto Pinochet, Jorge Rafael Videla and many more, bled their peoples and turned them into real reigns of terror. However, with the exception of scarce and wimp people “called to order”, and without lifting a finger, Washington’s administrations have not only maintained “excellent and very cordial” relations with the failed governments of these people, but also supplied them with weapons to repress their peoples, with logistics to persecute opponents and with succulent credits that always ended up in the pockets of those bloodthirsty men and their acolytes.
Can Cuba be compared with such fauna?
In the 1960s, due to the hostility of the neighbor of the North, the Cuban Revolution radicalized its process; it was a matter of life or death. The solidarity of the former Soviet Union and the socialist bloc were a decisive support for the consolidation of the social achievements that inspired the Cuban Revolution. Was that our “great sin”? Should we choose to give in or die? They were, undoubtedly, the only two options.
The will of the Cuban people and its Revolution to survive and make the dreams of its national heroes come true led to the crossroads of the so-called Cold War, even though Cuba always developed its foreign policy in an independent way within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement. That was, at the time, the pretext to strengthen punitive measures and the blockade against the Cuban nation. Curious enough, at the same time, the U.S. maintained diplomatic and commercial relations with the USSR and almost all the other countries of Eastern Europe, although, it’s true, in the midst of an ideological struggle. In the late 1980s, due to well-known errors, the collapse of the socialist bloc and of the then Soviet Union took place. The Cold War ended, but not the hostility towards a small island in the middle of the Caribbean, the only aggressiveness of which, if you want to call it that way, emanates from its example as a sovereign country.
Amid that Cold War, already ended, the United States had embarked on the war against the people of Vietnam. The amount of grapeshot falling over that heroic peninsula was larger than all the grapeshot launched over Europe by the Nazi-fascism during World War II. The Vietnamese territory became a minefield. Finally, that savage aggression ended with the defeat of the invaders and the unification of North and South Vietnam. Today, the United States, forgetting about the beating received and its humiliating defeat, maintains relations with Vietnam, a country in solidarity with Cuba, which keeps up its social project with a single vanguard party.
Today, the People’s Republic of China, so often marginalized and its entry into the UN vetoed by the United States, is now recognized by that country, with which it maintains normal diplomatic and commercial relations, as it should be in a civilized world.
Then, why the cruelty against our country? How can somebody understand that a handful of frustrated people from the Miami mafia, with their pockets full of “sweets” to hand out and buy votes, can manipulate sectors of the U.S. domestic politics? Is it perhaps an illogical inertia what maintains the current status?
The fact that the Cuban Revolution has survived the fall of Eastern European socialism and the collapse of the Soviet Union has no other explanation but the authenticity and depth of the transformation process initiated in 1959.
It’s true that the Cuban people has suffered a lot throughout these many years of immoral, cruel and anachronistic blockade, a measure condemned every year by the UN General Assembly and ignored, until today, by all the administrations of the moment.
The sale of medicaments needed to save lives, available in the U.S. market, prohibited to Cuba; an increase in prices for Cuban imports and exports due to long distances; bans on mutually advantageous artistic and academic exchanges; coercions preventing U.S. companies from investing and trading with our country.
On 27 September, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said at the UN headquarters in New York that “the agenda of talks and bilateral cooperation initiatives presented to the government of President Barack Obama on July 14, 2009, have not been answered yet.” The revolutionary government of Cuba, in a gesture to settle differences and open doors to an exchange of opinions, proposed frank and open talks to the current Washington administration. In this regard, the Cuban Foreign Minister said that “the U.S. government has shown no willingness to tackle key issues on the bilateral agenda, so the official talks held, without much progress, have been limited to specific issues.”
Meanwhile, the economic, financial and commercial blockade of the U.S. against Cuba causes losses exceeding 100 million dollars on food purchases from U.S. companies. In all these years of blockade -half a century now-, the direct economic damage suffered by the Caribbean island is worth over 751 billion dollars.
As expressed on October 4 by Moises Naim, an expert with the Carnegie Endowment Center, “The U.S. should abandon its policy of blockade against Cuba, given its proven ineffectiveness, which has turned it (the blockade policy) into “an ideological corpse. ” He also emphasized that “in Washington, there is an ideological necrophilia on the blockade against Cuba and relations with that country,” -a statement he made to the Notimex news agency and published by Granma newspaper on its online edition of October 5.
All sensible people in the world, regardless of their political or ideological direction, agree that the blockade imposed on Cuba for over 50 years is an immoral and cruel anachronism. A new voting in the UN General Assembly is approaching –on October 26.
There, with a clear sense of humanity and justice, the majority of voices from around the world will raise, as in previous occasions, to demand the end of such flagrant violation of international law.
Cuba, in the hope that in the near future common sense will prevail in bilateral relations, maintains its option of an exchange of opinions and normalization of relations, in the same way it defends its decision to continue with its project, inspired by social justice, solidarity and peace.