Cuba rejects US ‘genocidal’ embargo for umpteenth time

Nicholas Mokwena - BG reporter
Friday, 21 October 2016
Cuba rejects US ‘genocidal’  embargo for umpteenth time

The Cuban government has vowed to continue to demand for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States since 1959. Despite the restoring of Cuban-US diplomatic relations, the reopening of embassies over a year ago, and President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba in March 2016, the sanction against Cuba is still in place.

Cuban Ambassador to Botswana Juan Carlos Corrales this week cried that the embargo constitutes a basic obstacle to the process aimed at normalisation of relations between the two countries. Corrales said the embargo against Cuba must be removed unilaterally and unconditionally. “It is the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of sanctions ever imposed on any country, and remains a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights of the Cuban people. The embargo constitutes the greatest obstacle to developing the full potential of the economy and wellbeing of the Cuban people and to Cuba’s economic, trade and financial relations with America and the rest of the world,” he said.

He explained that the Cuban government’s proposed resolution reflects the current status of bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States. “We reiterate our appreciation of the restoration of diplomatic relations and the American president’s expression of willingness to work towards the lifting of the embargo, reaffirmed during his historic visit to Cuba this year,” he stated. The ambassador said his country hopes to enjoy the international community’s support regarding the issue at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly during the general debate and the UN member states’ vote in support of the resolution against the embargo next week Wednesday (26th October 2016).

He revealed that Cuba has already submitted and registered the Draft Resolution to the UN Secretariat, entitled ‘Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba’. “While amendments in 2015 and 2016 by the US Treasury and Commerce Departments affecting the operation of certain regulations implementing the Sanctions Policy constituted steps in the right direction, they are not enough. Washington continues to ban exports to Cuba of products and equipment important to key sectors of the economy.

Cuba cannot get investors from US. Despite the March 2016 measure authorising use of the US dollar in our international transactions, there are still no normal banking relations between the two countries. Cuba is banned from opening correspondent accounts in American banks and has been unable to make either deposits or payments in cash in US dollar”, revealed Corrales.

He said the US President still possesses wide executive powers, which he has not used to continue adjusting application of the embargo regulations beyond the concessions already made. Corrales stated these would enable Barack Obama, if used decisively to virtually dismantle the embargo Policy even though the complete elimination requires a decision by the US Congress. “We reiterate our gratitude for the permanent support of Botswana for the demand by the Cuban people for an end to this illegal, genocidal and extraterritorial policy, which will never prevent the Cuban people from defending its sovereignty and its unfettered right to choose its own future.”

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