JUAN DIEGO NUSA PEÑALVER
THE measured adopted by the Cuban Revolution after January 1, 1969 to recover the country’s wealth and place it at the service of the people, dealt a mortal blow to the interests of large U.S. monopolies which had been plundering the country’s resources for more than 50 years, and dominated the Cuban nation.
Historically speaking, the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba was imposed on February 7, 1962 by the administration of John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), by means of Proclamation 3447, although the United States began implementing economic measures in 1959 in order to achieve its spurious ends.
The anti-Cuba obsession of successive U.S. governments has been unceasing, particularly during the administrations of William Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001-2009), and the current one of Barack Obama, causing inestimable human damage.
The structure sustaining the blockade can be qualified as an act of genocide, in virtue of the 1948 Geneva Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and as an act of economic warfare in accordance with the 1909 London Declaration concerning the Laws of Naval War.
Economic damage sustained by the Cuban people resulting from the implementation of this immoral measure amounted to $1.066 trillion in December 2011, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the gold rate on the international market.
At current prices the total is in excess of $108 billion, using extremely conservative calculations.
Despite having failed to obtain its objectives, the economic, commercial and financial blockade remains the principal obstacle to Cuba’s full development of its economic and social potential. For this reason, the international community is calling for its unconditional lifting.
EFFECTS ON HEALTH AND EDUCATION
The food and health sectors are among the most impacted socially by the blockade. During the period May 2011 to April 2012, effects on the health sector are calculated at approximately $10 million, resulting from the distance of markets and increased prices for imported disposable materials and medical instruments, as well as medicaments, reagents, spare parts and machinery.
For example, the William Soler Pediatric Cardiology Center does not have Levosimendan, used for the treatment of acute heart failure, and only produced by the U.S. Abbott Laboratories. The hospital also lacks nutritional formula for newborns and breastfeeding infants, as well as oligeo-elements and certain vitamins also produced in the United States.
Cuba still cannot buy innovative cytostatics of U.S. manufacture for specific use in certain illnesses, is still being denied access to medical literature, to Internet sites created to facilitate free exchange of information, and essential software for scientific modeling and simulation work, which provides visualization of advanced image processing systems for diagnosing diseases.
From March 2011 to March 2012, effects on Cubans’ diet are calculated at $131.573 million, the result of purchasing foodstuffs in distant markets, habitual increases in insurance and freight, and the additional cost of immobility of resources in foreign storage, among other factors.
Despite possibilities of importing agricultural products and foodstuffs from the United States, there are no commercial relations in this context between the two countries. Limited possibilities of buying foodstuffs are still subjected to very strict regulations and complex license mechanisms.
Other sectors in Cuba are not exempt from this failed policy, such as education, culture and sports, of recognized prestige internationally; transport, construction, investments, the external economy and international cooperation with the country.
A NEW ETHICAL AND MORAL BATTLE IN THE UN
Since 1992, the UN General Assembly has annually condemned the blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and by an increasing and overwhelming majority.
Nevertheless, the White House has continued tightening this criminal political instrument, which fruitlessly seeks, through hunger and sickness, to destroy the resistance and example of dignity and sovereignty of the Cuban nation.
The UN General Assembly meets this November 13 to debate and vote on the Cuban resolution entitled, "The necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States of America." The vote will doubtless be another harsh sentence against the superpower, which is totally isolated on this issue. In 2011 the Cuban resolution received 186 votes in favor, two against (the U.S. and Israel) and three abstentions (Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau).
The world will once against say NO to this immoral and ethically unacceptable imperial policy.