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Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Presents Cuba’s Annual Report Against U.S. Blockade

 Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez presented Wednesday in Havana the annual Cuban report on the damages inflicted on the Cuban people and nation by the U.S. blockade.The Cuban report is related to the draft resolution entitled: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”After detailing the serious damage caused by the U.S. blockade over the last 12 months, economically and socially, the Cuban foreign minister stated that the humanitarian impact of the blockade can not just be measured in cold figures. He insisted that the blockade constitutes a systematic, massive violation of the human rights of the entire Cuban people.

Since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has passed a total of 23 annual resolutions, calling on the United States to put an end to the arbitrary policy towards Cuba. In the latest such resolution, passed on October 28th, 2014, the UN General Assembly urged the international community to maintain the same attitude for as long as the blockade policy is still in place.
As a recent example of the human damage caused by the U.S. policy, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez mentioned the situation in the oncology service of several Cuban hospitals, where many patients cannot properly receive radiation therapy or other cancer treatment in time because, under the blockade regulations, Cuba is prevented from acquiring these and other pertinent health-related equipment and medication.
In another part of the press conference, the Cuban foreign minister referred to the upcoming visit to Cuba of Pope Francis. He said that the Cuban government and people have joined forces and efforts to make this a memorable event.
He stressed that the Cuban authorities and people will offer the Bishop of Rome a warm welcome and show him respect, appreciation and hospitality.
In reference to the executive decisions adopted by U.S. President Barack Obama regarding Cuba, the Cuban foreign minister said that although some aspects of bilateral relations have been changed, the over 50 year-old blockade policy remains intact (Radio Havana Cuba).

US Blockade Costs Cuba US$833 Billion in Five Decades
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said his country would once again present a resolution before the U.N. calling for an end to the blockade.
The blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States has impacted the country’s economy to the tune of US$833.7 billion in five decades, the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez announced in a press conference Wednesday.
The figure differs to a U.N estimate of US$117 billion between 1960 and 2014.
“A claim by the international community to lift the blockade is indispensable,” said Rodriguez.
The Cuban Foreign Minister announced that the country would once again present a resolution before the General Assembly of the United Nations, calling on the United States to lift its blockade on the Caribbean country.
In last year’s vote, the U.N. generally assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of ending the blockade with 188 countries voting in favor of the resolution and only the United States and Israel voting against it.
Rodriguez added that this year’s resolution would differ slightly from those presented in previous years and would place greater emphasis on the alleged violation of international law and calls on the U.N. General Secretary to prepare and present a report on the implementation of the resolution by the United States government.
This year’s debate at the United Nations will take place in the context of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. The debate and vote is expected to take place on October 27.
Rodriguez said that the resolution would also recognize U.S. President Barack Obama’s support for the end of the blockade.
“Seventy-seven percent of the Cuban population was born and has lived under the cruel effects of the blockade, the humanitarian impact and damage is extreme and cannot be measured (only) in numbers,” said Rodriguez.
The Cuban foreign minister mentioned examples of the consequences of the blockade on Cuba, including the impacts on its financial transactions throughout the world, and the difficulty Cuban hospitals face in accessing the necessary supplies to provide adequate cancer treatment.
Rodriguez said that the blockade had failed in its objective to isolate Cuba.
Rodriguez added that Cuban President Raul Castro would travel to U.N. headquarters in New York alongside Pope Francis, who will visit the United States after a visit to Cuba (TeleSur).

US Blockade Against Cuba Tightened Despite New Measures
Havana, Sep 16.- Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said today that despite the measures announced by US President Barack Obama, in recent years the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba was tightened.
“Despite the measures announced by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2014 and its declared willingness to get involved in a debate with Congress to lift the blockade, the laws and regulations holding this policy continue in force and are applied rigurously by US government agencies,” said Rodriguez in a press conference.
Rodriguez presented the report on the resolution 69/5 of the UN General Assembly titled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America on Cuba,” a policy that has been in force for over half a century.
Despite the new situation, in the period 2014-2015 the blockade has remained tightened in its financial and extraterrotorial nature, which can be seen through the millions of dollars in fines imposed against banks and financial institutions as a resuilt of the persecution of Cuban financial transactions,” says the text.
Rodriguez said that this document, already circulating among UN member countries, will be discussed and subject to vote in the General Assembly on October 27. On 23 previous occasions, the text has been overwhelmingly backed by the international community and has been termed absurd, illegal and morally unsustainable.
Cuba’s top diplomat said this US policy of blockade has caused the Island 833.755 billion USD in damages.
He said the document has been updated and now has two paragraphs about the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, though it notes with concern that the economic sanctions remain in force.
In this regard, Rodriguez said that “We appreciate that Obama has made executive decisions to modify some aspects of bilateral relations, but we could not say, by the facts, that the implementation of the blockade has been modified.”
He said this policy is a unilateral action applied by the United States that has affected the Cuban people economically and financially and therefore, “it must be unilaterally lifted” (Prensa Latina).

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