Cuba: Imagine What We Could Have Achieved Without the Blockade

On November 2 and 3, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), will consider for the 30th time in a row, the need to put an end to the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba more than 60 years ago. This will take place in a special context, marked by the devastating effects left by Hurricane Ian on the Caribbean island, and a global multidisciplinary crisis, which includes food and energy scourges.

The vote on the draft resolution that Cuba submits every year to the UN calling for an end to the blockade, will also take place amid an unprecedented scenario, marked by the tightening of that policy and unconventional warfare that seeks to provoke the collapse of the Cuban economy.

The damages are incalculable and irreparable, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, who presented on Wednesday the most recent report of the island on the damages caused by the blockade in the last year.

Bruno reported that between August 2021 and February 2022, the blockade caused US$3,806.5 billion in losses, a record amount for only seven months.

The country’s Gross Domestic Product, according to conservative estimates, could have grown by 4.5% in this period if these measures had not been applied. In the first 14 months of the current U.S. government of Joe Biden, the damages caused by the blockade reached US$6,364 million, which represents an amount of over US$454 million per month and over US$15 million per day.

Let us remember that Biden maintains the same policy of maximum pressure against Cuba launched by his predecessor Donald Trump.

Since this policy began to be applied six decades ago, the accumulated damages amount to US$154,217.3 million. “Imagine what Cuba could have done if it had had that money. Imagine the development the country could have achieved in all these years,” the Foreign Affairs minister stressed.

The economic blockade is the central element that defines the nature of U.S. policy toward Cuba, Rodriguez added during a press conference.

“No changes have been introduced. The White House keeps hitting Cuba’s finances. The impact of this attitude, from a humanitarian point of view, is perverse and harmful. The blockade has acquired an aggressive posture that it hasn’t had in the past,” the minister pointed out.

No one can claim that the blockade doesn’t exist. It is tangible and harms every Cuban family, but also those Cubans living in the United States and the U.S. citizens themselves. It is aimed at provoking the inability of the country to solve its main social needs.

During the press conference, Rodriguez also urged the US government to remove Cuba from their list of “states sponsoring terrorism”.

“It’s lethal,” he said and added that the listing, “prevents people from sending remittances to the country from abroad, and raises the price of vital products the country buys on the world market.”

Most Americans and the international community are also opposed to the hostilities against the island. Today, even NBC condemned that while the Biden administration has rolled back some Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, the continuing terror designation is now affecting travel to the United States. “People from 40 countries this year lost the right to travel to the U.S. without a visa if they visited Cuba in the last decade. For U.S. travel, they must now apply for a visa, and it can take months for an appointment,”

Despite the claims of Cuba, the Americans, and the world, everything remains the same. Nothing has changed even though the UN General Assembly has voted in favor of the resolution urging the US to end its blockade against Cuba 29 times in a row.

A $2 million U.S. donation to Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian made headlines recently. Cuba thanked the US for the gesture, even though the donation will be made through the Agency for International Development (USAID) an organization that has allocated billions of dollars over the last decades to provoke a regime change in the island regardless of the consequences. The money will then go through the Red Cross that will have its own administration fees. Compare this relatively token amount to the billions the US spends to send military aid around the world makes this donation seem like some sort of sadistic joke.

“Cuba suffers because it has the right to live without a blockade and in peace. Everything would be better without a blockade. The United States would be a better country without a blockade. The world would be a better place without hostilities,” Bruno Rodriguez concluded.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – US