US Blockade Cost Cuba More Than $4 Billion in One Year

August 24, 2018

Ceramic factory, photo: Bill Hackwell

Between April 2017 and March 2018, U.S. policy towards Cuba intensified and the economic aggression and siege cost the Caribbean country more than $4.321 billion dollars, bringing the total cost of the losses suffered by the island in almost six decades of application of the blockade to 933.678 billion dollars, according to official estimates revealed this Friday in Havana.

In its annual report on the damage caused to Cuba by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States 60 years ago, the Foreign Ministry points out that the Trump administration “established a serious setback on bilateral relations” after the official resumption in 2015 under the governments of Barack Obama and Raúl Castro.

In 2017 Trump signed the “Presidential Memorandum on National Security on Strengthening US Policy towards Cuba”, a document that involved the tightening of the blockade. Five months later, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Treasury and State issued new regulations and provisions to implement the memorandum.

The measures put into place further restricted the right of Americans to travel to Cuba and imposed additional obstacles to the limited opportunities for the U.S. business sector on the island.

Among its many consequences has been a drop in visits to Cuba from the United States and greater obstacles to relations between Cuban companies and potential partners from the United States and third countries.

These measures – the report warns – affect not only the Cuban state economy, but also the country’s non-state sector, and even other nations given their extraterritorial nature.

The report, which supports a draft resolution proposed by Cuba to the United Nations General Assembly on the need to end the blockade, estimates the damage caused by this policy over 60 years at $933.67 billion, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold on the international market.

At current prices, the blockade has caused Cuba quantifiable damage in excess of 134.499 billion dollars, the text states.

The document details the effects suffered by the island in different sectors, from food, health and education, to foreign trade and finance, among others.

For Cuba, the United States policy is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the entire Cuban population and qualifies as an act of genocide under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The policy, furthermore, is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, as an obstacle to international cooperation.

On October 31, the United Nations General Assembly will again vote on a draft resolution on the need to end the blockade, proposed by Cuba.

It will be the twenty-seventh consecutive year of voting on the initiative, which since 1992 has gained majority support annually in the general assembly of the United Nations.

In the last three years, 191 of the 193 UN member states have supported the project. The 2017 vote recorded opposition only from the United States and Israel.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North American Bureau

Ceramic factory , photo: Bill Hackwell