Havana, Nov. 2 — Today, as happens at the beginning of November every year, the resolution presented by Cuba to call for the end of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States was overwhelmingly approved Thursday by the General Assembly with 187 votes in favor. There were two votes against that were not a surprise: the U.S. and Israel, with Ukraine abstaining.
The resolution recognizes the blockade as the central element of U.S. policy towards Cuba for more than six decades. In all that time, its effects have not ceased for a single day; 80% of the Cuban population have never known their country free of the blockade.
Speaking at the plenary of the 78th session of the General Assembly in New York, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla denounced the violations against the right to life, education, progress, and well-being of Cubans caused by the U.S. blockade.
“Families in the country feel it in the shortages, excessive prices and devalued salaries,” said the foreign minister, and recalled the efforts that the Government of Havana must go through to guarantee the basic food basket to the population despite the obstacles imposed.
“Only with one third of the cost of the effects of the blockade from March 2022 to February 2023 would it have been possible to cover the expenses for that concept”, he asserted.
At the same time, he pointed out that sectors such as agriculture and energy face serious obstacles in acquiring spare parts or new machinery.
Under strict licenses, some agricultural products in the United States travel to the island while subject to draconian and discriminatory laws that violate international trade regulations, he recalled. “These products,” he added, “arrive in U.S. ships that have to return empty because of the blockade itself.”
Rodríguez Parrilla pointed out the intensification of harassment policies during the hardest years of the pandemic when the exemption of sanctions was promoted for humanitarian reasons for some countries but not Cuba. Instead, the blockade was tightened up even further by Trump with 243 new sanctions that continue under Biden; in fact, it has gotten even worse under this Democratic president.
“Why was Cuba excluded from that temporary relief?” questioned Rodríguez Parrilla in rejection of the use of the pandemic as an ally in Washington’s policy of hostility towards Cuba.
Today is one of those days when the support and love we get from the entire world is on display, and we appreciate it. Since 1992, there have been 31 consecutive years of votes with resounding support to end the blockade in the General Assembly, and our question to our arrogant neighbor to the North is how many more will it take for you to get in stride with the humanitarian sentiment of the world.
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