camisas polo ralph lauren STATEMENT BY H
have come to speak on behalf of the only country on the planet subjected to a blockade. Here, I represent a friendly and courageous nation that has earned the respect of the international public opinion on account of its steadfast, determined struggle for independence and the defense of the right of small, poor countries to have a place in the world.
behalf of Cuba, I hereby submit to the General Assembly for consideration the draft resolution entitled “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo Imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”
do not find it necessary to repeat how, when and why the US blockade against Cuba was put in place or the methods by means of which it has been reinforced and worsened every year. Nor do I believe it is fitting to once again reveal the countless pretexts with which the representatives of the US Government have unsuccessfully attempted to justify the unjustifiable year after year. This Assembly has enough information on the issue and has clearly supported the need to put an end to this irrational, inhumane policy for eight consecutive years.
I am particularly interested in stating that contrary to what has been repeated with suspicious persistence the economic, trade and financial blockade against Cuba has not only failed to be eased as a result of the recent legislative decisions adopted by the US Congress, but it has also been further tightened.
how was that possible, you may wonder, if nobody argues anymore that after seven months of an outstanding struggle in favor of the return of the child Eli Gonz to his family in Cuba the overwhelming majority of people in the US, the press, an ever increasing section of the Cuban born community in the United States, the businesspeople in this country and even a large number of Members of Congress are demanding the end of the blockade against Cuba? How could the powerful, extremist minority in the Cuban born community benefiting from the blockade and its allies of the GOP leadership in Congress impose their obscure designs if Capitol Hill had already seen six overwhelmingly favorable votes in favor of changing the policy towards Cuba?
5 August 1999, the Senate adopted the so called Ashcroft Amendment with 70 yeas and 28 nays that would have allowed the sales of food and medicines to Cuba. However, the GOP leadership in collusion with the Miami based anti Cuban sectors managed to remove it from the final text of the law by resorting to pressures and outrageously anti democratic practices.
23 March 2000, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee once again adopted the Ashcroft Amendment by consensus.
10 May 2000, the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives adopted the Nethercutt Amendment aimed at allowing the sales of food and medicines to Cuba with 35 yeas and 24 nays. It was never discussed on the House Floor either.
20 July 2000, the Dorgan Gorton Amendment similar in purpose to the previous initiatives passed the Senate with 79 yeas and 13 nays.
these elements, was it not logical to think then that a real change would come about in the arbitrary policy that the United States has imposed on Cuba for over forty years?
the GOP leadership and the Cuban American Congresspeople not only managed to prevent these proposals from being included in violation of the rules of the US legislative process but they also imposed other amendments that actually reinforce the blockade against Cuba. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate were later forced to adopt the poorly worked out plan because legislators were deprived of all possibilities to discuss or attempt to change these new amendments. Finally, on 28 October the US President signed the bill thus codifying into law the new measures that tighten the blockade against Cuba, even though the following had been stated before:
hope I’m wrong, but what I’ve been told is that the embargo on food and medicines has been allegedly eased although it probably won’t do much because it doesn’t offer any credits or financing facilities, which we give to poor countries. Besides, it definitely restrains the ability of the Executive to enhance the people to people contacts between Americans and Cubans, thus further punishing and increasing the hardships of the Cuban people . Certainly, this agreement is restrictive.
“I think that in a thoroughly unjustified manner it restricts the US ability to make decisions on the policy of travels . I think it’s incorrect.
“ I can’t believe that the majority supports this and I think it was a big mistake,” the President concluded.
Is it by any chance feasible to consider the sales of food and medicines to Cuba if the complex, bureaucratic license granting process for such transactions expressly devised to render them impossible remains in force; if any kind of sale related government assistance and even private financing is prohibited; if Cuban made products cannot be imported as payment? How could Cuba purchase food and medicines from the United States if maritime and air transportation between both countries is still banned; if direct relations between US and Cuban banking institutions are not allowed; if inter alia there are such prohibitions in place as the one preventing Cuba from using the US dollar in its foreign trade transactions?
But that is not all. Why do we also say that the blockade has been reinforced? Because not only are the sales of food and medicines to Cuba still prohibited, but from now on for the first time ever in these four decades US citizens are expressly barred under law from freely traveling to Cuba. It has ceased to be so. No US President will be able to make a decision in that respect unless it is determined by Congress.
If there were still any doubts, here are two enlightening statements:
Republican Congresswoman from Florida Ileana Ros Lehtinen, one of the masterminds behind the kidnapping of the Cuban child, stated the following about the legislation adopted: “It’s just smoke and mirrors . We have obtained a tremendous victory in freezing the ban preventing US tourists from going to Cuba.”
The also Republican Congressman from Florida Lincoln D a close ally and relative of the Miami based Cuban born terrorist groups, gloated: “It’s the most important victory since the Helms Burton Act . No barter trade, no granting of credits, no imports from Cuba, no public or private financing . Denying credits and tourism to Cuba is an extraordinary and important victory.”
Anyone understands that those accountable for the reinforcement of the blockade against my country have likewise attempted to cynically deceive the international public opinion. I can confirm that it is absolutely false. Actually, donations to Cuba from US non governmental and religious organizations have averaged some US$ 4 million per year. What I am interested in underlining is that such donations usually prepared in open defiance of the constraints, obstacles and persecutions imposed by the Federal Government on its organizers are an unmistakable testimony to the spirit of solidarity and sensitivity of many of the best and most honest native sons and daughters of the American people.
As if everything I have just said to this Assembly were not enough, I must now warn against the new aggression committed by the United States against Cuba. It also sets down the right to such dispossession in the future should any transactions come about once the blockade is lifted.
This money will be handed over to Miami based terrorist groups and its lawyers with the pretext of compensating the relatives of the pilots of one of these terrorist organizations, who died when engaged in one of the many acts of provocation against Cuba, jeopardizing the life of innocent people and air traffic in the area. The US Government is well aware of how that unfortunate incident happened and who should be held accountable for it.
This new action is another escalation in the policy of aggression against Cuba while setting a negative international precedent that will most certainly cause problems in the future. While the United States relentlessly toughened its unprecedented blockade, Cuba received more solidarity and support from the General Assembly of the United Nations. However, while year after year a larger number of members of this Assembly asked the United States to change its policy, such repeated appeal was disregarded with imperial arrogance.