‘America should remove 56-year blockade against Cuba now’

By Lydia
Kukua Asamoah/Desmond Opoku Nyarko,

Accra, Oct. 17, GNA – The Cuban Embassy in
Ghana has called on the United States of America to cease its 56 year-old
economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, saying is an open
violation of international law.

Mr Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzlez, the Cuban
Ambassador to Ghana, described the blockade as the “most unfair, severe and
extended system of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country”.

“The extra-territorial application of the
blockade seriously hurts Cuba but it also negatively affects the interests and
sovereign rights of third countries, thereby, constituting a violation of
international laws, the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter
and the regulations of free trade,” he said.

Mr Gonzlez said the imposition of the blockade
had, till date, constituted the main obstacle for the development of all the
potentials for the Cuban economy.

He said from June 2017 to March 2018, the
blockade had caused serious economic damage of over 4.3 billion dollars to the
Republic of Cuba.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra on
Wednesday, Mr Gonzlez explained that the impact of the blockade could be felt
on Cuba’s food, industry, agriculture, monetary-financial, technological,
transportation and foreign trade sectors.

The USA, in 1962, imposed a total blockade on
Cuba in response to the discovery that the then Soviet missiles were being
installed on the island, with former President John F. Kennedy in a televised
speech condemning the act and describing it as a clandestine, reckless and
provocative threat to world peace. 

Reports indicated that America, at the time,
feared that a missile in Cuba were capable of hitting Washington DC or anywhere
in the south-eastern portion of the country, Panama Canal, Mexico City or as
far south as Lima, Peru.

However, by October 1962, President Kennedy
and the Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev, had reached a settlement and people on
both sides of the conflict breathed a collective but wary sigh of relief.

The Cuban missile sites were dismantled and in
return, Kennedy agreed to close US missile sites in Turkey.

Mr Gonzlez said over the years, many countries
at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and at the African Union (AU) level
had joined Cuba to call on the US to cease the blockade.

However, that effort was being derailed,
especially with the current government of US imposing further sanctions and
signing the “Presidential Memorandum for National Security about the Tightening
of US Policy against Cuba,” in June 2017.

He said the Memorandum, which was renewing and
rather tightening the blockade against Cuba, was a serious setback to the
bilateral relations between USA and Cuba, earlier championed by former
President Barack Obama.   

Mr Gonzlez commended the AU and the UN, who,
since 1992, had declared their support for Cuba and urged the world to continue
to join Cuba in its fight against the blockade.

He said in Cuba, the government and its
officials continued to work towards promoting human rights, providing free
education and free quality healthcare for its citizens, as well as supporting
most countries, especially in Africa with training and improving their
healthcare delivery.


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