From nobody Mon Apr 28 00:07:18 2003
From: (Zacharias Archer)
Subject: End the U.S. blockade against Cuba!
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african
Distribution: world
Organization: Kathleen Hughes
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Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 17:35:09 GMT


Cuba's report to the U.N. Secretary General on General Assembly Resolution 56/9

Granma International, n.d. [2000]

Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.


The Cuban people continue to be victimized by the genocidal blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America in an effort to break the Cuban resolve to exercise self-determination and its willingness to preserve its independence, social justice and equality. For over 42 years, successive US Administrations have not hesitated in their attempt to cause hunger and disease among the Cuban people, as a means to try and defeat the Cuban spirit of resistance to US aggression and annexation.

The policy of blockade has inflicted and continues to inflict serious and onerous damages on the Cuban people's material, psychological and spiritual welfare, while hindering its economic and social development. The US blockade has forced consecutive generations of Cubans to live under a climate of permanent hostility and tension. Six in every ten Cubans have been born and have lived under the conditions imposed by this policy.

The U.S. economic war against Cuba has no legal basis whatsoever and, in conformity with Item C of Article II of the Geneva Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, of 9 December 1948, it is considered an act of genocide and therefore a crime under International Law.

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the most powerful country in the history of humankind is not only still in place, but it has also been strengthened by a decision of the present Bush Administration, which has made the anti-Cuba rhetoric and its strong commitment with the Miami-based, extremist groups, the cornerstone of its policy towards Cuba, seeking electoral gains for the President himself and his family.

In a recent statement made at the White House last 20 May 2002, on the occasion of commemorating the 100th anniversary of the U.S.-imposed neo-colonial regime on Cuba, President Bush openly said, the United States will continue to enforce the economic sanctions against Cuba. [1]

If anyone still harbored any doubts about the continuity in the implementation and the reinforcement of the U.S. policy of blockade against the Cuban people, President Bush's remarks, which he repeated in Miami that same day, provide the clearest possible answer.

It is in light of these circumstances that the 57th Session of the U.N. General Assembly shall once again consider this item of its agenda, after 10 years of the first resolution adopted by body demanding that the U.S. Government puts an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the Cuban people. In this regard, it would be appropriate to ask ourselves:

How was it possible to devise throughout these years such a meticulous and infernal system to prevent a whole people from having access to staple food and medicines produced in the world's main market, also bearing in mind that some of them are unique and cannot be supplied at any price by any other suppliers?

How could it be allowed that a people continues to be denied access to technologies and spare parts, to critical medical equipment and scientific literature essential for the full realization of the human right to healthcare?

How could anyone justify these practices, not only under universal standards of human rights and International Humanitarian Law, but also in light of the principles of economic and trade liberalization promoted by industrialized countries, including the United States, in the context of the ongoing process of globalization?

Throughout the present Report, an attempt will be made to answer these questions and the General Assembly should derive its own conclusions from the information provided herein.


The last 200 years have presented Cuba with formidable challenges, particularly arising from the dangers historically represented by the attempts of annexation and domination of Cuba by the most conservative power sectors in the United States. A quick glance at history would suffice to find enough evidence of the true intentions guiding the U.S. policy towards this small Caribbean island. The United States has spared no resources in its hegemonic plans, particularly after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

The policy of implementing economic sanctions has been a fundamental element of U.S. hostility against Cuba. The decision to cause hunger, disease and desperation to the Cuban people as tools to reach their goals of political domination has not only been maintained, but it has also been reinforced in the last 40 years.

Cuba has been subjected to a brutal policy of hostility and aggression of all kinds by the superpower, whose strategic purpose has been none other than the annihilation of the Cuban Revolution and the destruction of the political, economic and social system established, sustained and permanently perfected by the free will of its people.

In order to accomplish their purpose, successive U.S. Administrations since 1959 have resorted to all kinds of political pressure; attempts at diplomatic isolation; propaganda war; encouragement of defections and illegal emigration; espionage; economic warfare and aggressions of all sorts, including subversion, terrorism and acts of sabotage, biological warfare, fomenting armed bands, criminal infiltration and raids against the Cuban territory, military harassment, threats of nuclear extermination and even direct aggression using a mercenary army.

Not a single economic or social activity has been exempted from the destructive and destabilizing action resulting from the aggressive U.S. policy. Conservative figures show that the sum of the damages sustained by Cuba as a consequence of the implementation of this genocidal policy already exceeds U.S. $70 billion. These figure does not include over U.S. $54 billion reported as direct damages caused to Cuban economic and social objectives in the last four decades by acts of sabotage and terrorism carried out by agents at the service of the United States, tolerated by that country or organized and financed in its territory.

As it has been denounced in previous reports, in 1992 the difficulties faced by the Cuban economy worsened as a result of the rupture of ties with its former trading partners from the demised Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. It is in the midst of these circumstances that the so-called Torricelli Act is adopted with the purpose of totally isolating Cuba from the international environment and causing its economy to collapse. The provisions contained in that piece of legislation, of a profound extraterritorial nature, constitute a flagrant violation of the international norms governing freedom of trade and navigation, and reflect U.S. scorn and disrespect for the sovereignty of third States.

In 1996, not yet satisfied for not having accomplished the collapse of the Cuban political and economic system with the passing of the Torricelli Act, the U.S. Government further escalated its hostile and aggressive actions against the Cuban people. The Helms-Burton Act is enacted that year, incorporating the key programs and policies that the U.S. far right and the Cuban-American terrorist mafia had been advocating against the Cuban people and its emancipation project.

The Helms-Burton Act, interventionist in nature and in its letter, intends to dictate in its Titles I and II the political, economic and social ordering of a sovereign neighboring State, Cuba, while promoting subversion as a means to achieve its goals. Titles III and IV attempt to internationalize the U.S. blockade imposing rules and regulations on the international community as to how to conduct its economic relations with the Cuban nation and requiring sanctions against citizens of other States for doing business with Cuba.

These laws and regulations that affect our country, and in addition extend their scope against the international community at large, have been complemented with further provisions and measures aimed at making the blockade more stringent. Among the more recent actions, attention must be drawn to the implementation of new control and monitoring mechanisms for its more effective enforcement.

The coming to power of President George W. Bush's Administration has meant an increase of the anti-Cuba rhetoric and a greater commitment with the Cuban-American National Foundation and other extremist organizations in Florida, whose terrorist and annexation acts are well known. This has brought about a toughening of the U.S. policy of blockade against the Cuban people.

The current U.S. Administration has committed itself to the most rigorous enforcement of the blockade regulations, in particular of the Helms-Burton Act, both in its economic and political aspects. The economic sanctions and restrictions have been accompanied by new initiatives for the promotion, organization and financing of internal subversion in Cuba making use of the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, of the resources of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other official funding, and of resources provided by the Administration to organizations which, as Freedom House, promote subversion and intervention in the territory of the Republic of Cuba. This year, the Government of President W. Bush has even publicly announced the granting of federal funds to finance projects of internal subversion in Cuba, making available millions of dollars for every project submitted.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the anti-Cuba actions of President W. Bush's administration has been the issue of travel restrictions, through the reinforcement of sanctions and threats against U.S. citizens wishing to travel to Cuba. These actions have increased in the last 18 months, when the U.S. Government has taken to court and imposed civil penalties on a growing number of U.S. citizens. Suffice it to say that if in a four-month period—from 3 January to 3 May 2001—the Department of the Treasury sent 74 letters to U.S. citizens who visited Cuba without a license, imposing on average $7,500 civil penalties, while in the following three months—from 4 May to 31 July 2001—that Department sent 443 such letters.

The case of Mr. Cevin Allen, a U.S. citizen who has been a victim of the sanctions imposed by the U.S. Government for traveling to Cuba, constitutes a single example. Last year, the aforementioned citizen appeared in a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to make his case known. Due to the unheard of and inhumane circumstances associated with this case, several of its details are presented below:

Resident in Sammamish, Washington, Mr. Allen lived in Cuba between 1948 and 1955 with his parents, who were missionaries of the Pentecostal Church. They maintained close connections with the Island after returning to the United States. In 1987, an unfortunate house fire killed both his parents. Back then, Mr. Allen promised himself to take their ashes to Cuba, the place they had always loved. He could only fulfill his promise after 10 years. Upon his return, Mr. Allen and his partner were imposed a $7,500 civil penalty each, which was reduced to $700 after an intense legal battle. [2]

President George W. Bush, as part of his drive to escalate his anti-Cuban activity, has appointed and promoted officials of Cuban descent, some of them even having terrorist backgrounds, to key posts in his Cabinet or in the State Department. These officials are active members of or are closely related to the Cuban-American National Foundation and to other far right, Florida-based organizations, whose terrorist nature has been sufficiently denounced and demonstrated.

In the last few years, the U.S. Government has intended to mislead the international public opinion with an alleged ease of the blockade regulations allowing, as claimed, the sales of food and medicines to Cuba. However, as we have indicated in previous Reports to the Secretary General, the restrictions imposed on such Cuban purchases, and the conditions attached thereto, have prevented and continue to prevent them, in site of a Cuban willingness to carry out those purchases and the interest by US producers to sell their products.

Late last year, in the aftermath of the most devastating hurricane that has ever hit Cuba, in a gesture described as kind by the Cuban authorities, the U.S. Administration did not raise objections to the sale of certain amounts of food to our country, purchased to replenish the reserves used to respond to the needs of the victims of Hurricane Michelle.

This isolated event triggered the false expectation in several quarters—including the U.S. business sector—that a favorable path to a less confrontational US policy towards Cuba had been taken. However, the fact is that those purchases had to be made under strict Department of Treasury license-issuing procedures, in cash and without any financing facilities whatsoever, private or otherwise; while at the same time, the transportation of those products could only be done aboard U.S. or third country vessels, excepting Cuba. So, even then, the countless restrictions imposed by the blockade were kept. Likewise, last April, the US Government unilaterally cancelled the visas of Cuban businessmen negotiating new purchases with U.S. companies that had made sales to Cuba in recent months and with other interested firms.

It is also worth recalling the complex procedures that have governed and still govern these sales. On the one hand, the products that U.S. companies will export to Cuba must comply with export regulations, there should be a written contract and the shipments must be made within one year after the signing of the contract. Likewise, U.S. exporters must previously send a notification, by submitting a form in paper or in its electronic version containing the information required by the Department of Commerce, in particular by its Bureau of Export Administration (BXA). This office will refer the notification to other U.S. Government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Department of State, presumably the National Security Council, and in some cases to other entities, which will ultimately decide—based on political considerations—whether or not the sales are authorized, a procedure that is totally alien to the norms that should govern trade among nations.

It is absolutely impossible to rationally conduct business between two sovereign States without the existence of a normal regime of relations among enterprises that allows negotiation, a regular financial flow, air and maritime transportation, the benefit of customary formulas supporting foreign trade and the critical access to credits.

Even further, and to dispel the slightest doubt, officials both from the State Department and President Bush himself immediately made clear that regardless of such sales, the blockade will continue to be in effect, without any changes and that, on the contrary, a review of the US policy towards Cuba would be conducted, with the already-stated objective of reinforcing the standing measures of economic coercion and sanctions.

In violation of the most basic principles of freedom of trade, even though the Sanctions Policy Reform Act, enacted in October 2000, allows—under certain conditions—sales of food and medicines to our country, it also adds significant restrictions to those already included in previous laws. This law requires the Department of Commerce to monitor the export of agricultural and health products through the issuance of licenses, which are under Department of the Treasury's control, particularly its Office for Foreign Assets Control. The products that are authorized for export to Cuba shall comply with certain control and classification requirements, under national security provisions.

In the course of this procedure, and in compliance with Section 906 of the law in question, exports of agricultural products to any Cuban entity can be rejected citing national security reasons. As to the payment currency, the regulations do not define the authorization for Cuban entities to use U.S. dollar in their purchases. Transactions are conducted through banks located in third countries and using other currencies, mainly euros, with the resulting costs associated with currency exchange operations.

With regard to healthcare products, the provisions embodied in the Torricelli Act are still being enforced. Exporters need a specific license, issued on a case-by-case basis, valid for 24 months. The granting of the licenses is conditioned to the fact that the U.S. Government is able to monitor and supervise through in situ inspections or other means, the end user of the product.

On the other hand, only in the course of this year, 25 legislative initiatives against Cuba have been introduced in the US Congress, which, if adopted, will continue to further strengthen—if that were possible—the blockade against our country.

However, parallel to this irrational behaviour, there are several legislative initiatives in favour of lifting the unilateral economic sanctions, which are the result of, among other things, increased efforts by representatives of the agricultural sector to find new markets for their products. There is an ever-growing number of U.S. social and economic sectors demanding the lifting of the U.S. blockade, which not only affects the Cuban people, but also the interests of the U.S. business sectors and people.

On March 21st last, the Bipartisan Cuba Working Group was officially established in the House of Representatives, the first of its kind in the U.S. Congress in over four decades. The Cuba Working Group has been lobbying for the elimination of restrictions to the private financing of agricultural sales to our country, for freedom to travel and for the repeal of Section 211 of the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act that has allowed the usurpation of Cuban trademarks, in open violation of intellectual property laws.

More voices are joining every day to reject the policy of blockade towards Cuba. The U.S. media, the churches, the business sector, and the common citizen himself question why a country, a neighbour, which does not pose a threat to the Unites States, is treated like an enemy.

The continued implementation of this aggressive policy of blockade by the U.S. Government, only shows its arrogance and disrespect for the values shared by the community of nations, and constitutes a clear challenge and a true scorn for the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and International Law.


The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America on the Republic of Cuba, since its coming into effect in 1960, has had an extraterritorial nature violating standing principles of International Law, and particularly, trampling on the sovereign right of nations to carry out their economic, commercial and financial relations free from interference. The United States took upon itself the right to legislate by and for other countries in their relations with Cuba, claiming its capacity to certify the conduct and actions of other States.

At the base of this extraterritorial policy pursued by the mightiest power on this planet lies its selective and discriminatory interpretation of the concept of sovereignty of States, principle universally defined and accepted since the Westfalia Congress in 1648 as the power of a State to decide on its domestic and external affairs, while leading at the same time to respect for the sovereignty of other States.

The selective approach and double standard characterizing U.S. positions with regards to its respect for the sovereignty of other States is openly manifested in the enforcement of its unilateral policy of blockade on Cuba.

The worst in all this is that the extraterritorial implementation of the policy of blockade against Cuba is not an isolated event; rather it would seem a common option in the U.S. imperialist strategy of hegemonic rule.

At the beginning of the 1990s, attempts were made at fabricating an argumentative framework that would support the extraterritorial enforcement of the blockade. The passing of the so-called Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, known as the Torricelli Act, marked a first qualitatively important step in that direction, followed in 1996 by the Helms-Burton Act, which would take to a higher level the extraterritoriality contained in its enforcement provisions.

The Torricelli Act provides for prohibitions and sanctions applicable to foreign subsidiaries or firms affiliated to U.S. companies, even when they are based and organized in third States and thus operating under their laws and jurisdiction.

It is known that Cuba used to purchase vital products, such as medicines and food from subsidiaries of U.S. companies, thus providing some relief vis-a-vis the impact of the policy of blockade.

Back then, a total of 107 head offices of U.S. companies, while gaining access to the Cuban market, were interested in keeping a certain level of trade exchange with Cuba. In 1991, the trade volume equaled $718 million, with food and medicines representing up 90.6% of sales. The Torricelli Act effectively cut the Cuban people's access to these products.

Such law specified prohibitions for vessels to call on US ports and the inclusion in a black list of those freighters carrying goods to Cuba or on Cuba's behalf, thus violating basic norms of freedom of trade and navigation enshrined in International Law and U.N. international agreements.

The so-called Helms-Burton Act, passed in 1996, institutionalized and codified a number of provisions previously existing as separate laws, decrees, presidential orders and regulations enacted through decades.

The aforementioned law, which grants the U.S. Government the right to decide on the political future of the Cuban people by setting down the conditions for the legitimacy of a transition government and the requirements that a democratically-elected government must comply with, reserves for the U.S. President powers that are of the exclusive competence of the Cuban people. Simply put, the United States took upon itself the right to officially and publicly decide on issues that should be exclusive attributes of Cuban sovereignty. In fact, the passing of that law has intended to turn back the wheels of history to the times when the United States imposed the so-called Platt Amendment as a condition to recognize the tutored independence of the Cuban people in 1902.

That law establishes sanctions such as the denial of entry visas to the United States for third-country businesspersons doing business with Cuba and their relatives. It also provides for the right of persons, who were Cuban citizens on 1st January 1959, to file suits in US courts against third-country entrepreneurs doing business with Cuba using nationalized properties, which the law terms as trafficking in such properties.

The extraterritorial effects of the blockade can be felt in every field of international cooperation, including the United Nations and its specialized agencies. There are sufficient examples to prove it. Following are some of them:

Dr. Miguel Enriquez Medical School, located in Havana, is conducting an investment project with financing by the Georg August de Goettinggen University's, from funds, for the establishment of the Central Cephalo-Rachidian Liquid Lab (LABCEL, acronym in Spanish) to undertake tests of this liquid using breakthrough technologies, which will redound to the benefit of the Cuban people. The functions of this lab will be the provision of medical services, R&D and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses both for Cuban and foreign specialists.

Last February 2001, Beckmann-Coulter's US-based headquarters banned its European subsidiary from sending a next generation IMMAGE laser analyzer to Cuba's LABCEL Project, citing the Helms-Burton Act. Beckmann-Coulter's Headquarters even threatened its European branch to remove its export license, if that equipment was sent to Cuba. Hence, Cuba has been prevented from using this equipment that is the cornerstone of this project, delaying in over one year the operational start of the lab.

In its 2001 Report, Cuba denounced how within the framework of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), it was denied its right to participate in that organization's Global Project WISEWORLD 2000, offering developing countries the possibility of receiving a software for the issuance of digital certificates, as well as commercial-use cryptographic techniques.

This year, U.S. Permanent Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delivered a letter addressed to Dr. Mohammed El Baradei, Director General of IAEA, dated 10 May 2002, expressing the US Government's request that US funds provided to that Agency were not used in IAEA's cooperation projects with Cuba by virtue of U.S. Foreign Assistance Act's Section 307. This action is in violation of IAEA's statutes.

Cuba will continue to denounce the extraterritorial nature of the U.S. policy and demand the strict observance of International Law, particularly, the right to peoples to their self-determination and the sovereignty of States.


Since the start of the enforcement of the blockade against Cuba, in early the 1960s, the Cuban people's healthcare and education systems and its realization of the right to food have been targets of choice of US aggressions. The actions aimed at creating conditions to cause hunger and disease in order to undermine the Cuban people's support of the Revolution have consistently been part and parcel of the concrete plans and programs to wage a dirty war against Cuba.


The blockade and the hostile policy of successive U.S. administrations have caused serious damages to the Cuban National Healthcare Program, hindering the purchase of technologies, medicines, raw materials, reagents, diagnostic kits, equipment and spare parts, as well as medication to treat serious, traumatizing, and distressing diseases, such as cancer, among others.

The consequences of this shortage in many cases have been dramatic, not only due to the human suffering of patients and their families, but also because the medical personnel has been unable to save a life or relieve a pain.

Cuba has denounced once and again the damages caused by the U.S. blockade to the Cuban healthcare system. We will continue to denounce it as long as this genocidal policy shall continue. As part of this Report, reference will be made to several cases illustrating the already mentioned consequences. However, it would be convenient to draw attention to one of these examples, which would suffice in and on itself to demonstrate our claims:

The Attorney General's Office, under the U.S. Department of Justice, found Canadian citizen James Sabzali guilty, as well as U.S. citizens Donald E. Brodie and Stefan E. Brodie, executives of Purolite Company for violating the blockade against Cuba. After a five-year investigation on their business deals with Cuba, Mr. Sabzali could face up to 205 years in jail.

Has by chance Mr. Sabzali sold Cuba any product that is considered a US strategic secret? Nothing further from the truth. Although it might seem incredible, the crime for which the aforementioned executives have been charged is none other than selling water purification chemicals to Cuba, used to treat drinking water supplied to the people.

Another example worth mentioning, based on its negative impact on the Cuban people's health, is the following:

U.S. company Rashkind manufactures a catheter called balloon catheter used in the treatment of infants with heart defects, an extremely complex pediatric procedure. Since Cuba is unable to purchase it in the United States, it has to import it from Canada, causing its US$110 unit price to climb to US$185, excluding transportation costs.

There is a great number of drugs directly related to the survival of patients, such as antibiotics, antimycotic drugs and immunoregulators, manufactured by U.S. companies, that are unavailable for use in our therapies, as they cannot be officially imported from the United States, nor bought in third countries.

Cuba cannot purchase US-controlled state-of-the-art technologies such as the Continual Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis for the Chronic Kidney Patient Care Program, last-generation immunodepressors as FK506, Mycophenolate Mofetil and dialysis machines with synthetic membranes, among many others.

Several companies such as Baxter, Healthcare, Drake Willock, Vitalmex Interamericana S.A. sell their products in nearby technologically advanced markets. However, they are forbidden to sell equipment, disposable materials and accessories to Cuba. If refurbished dialysis machines and other equipment for tertiary care could be purchased in the United States, it would save Cuba between 66 to 75%off the cost of a new machine.

U.S. company One-Lambda manufactures what Cuban physicians consider the most useful kit for HLA (Histocompatibility Lymphocyte Antigen) typing, critical to determine the compatibility of a kidney transplant candidate with a prospective donor. Cuba cannot buy these kits that allow the testing of 70 specialties and only require between 2 and 3 ml of the patient's blood.

On April 2001, Roche's Vitamin Division notified that the US Government did not authorize them to send directly or indirectly to Cuba any US-made product. Roche only manufactures vitamin A (acetate) in the United States, so the contract was cancelled. Something similar occurred with Anaquim, a supplier of glue for the labels of blood derivative flasks. This firm also cancelled its contract with Cuba.

The obstacles in this field have become a serious threat to the Cuban people's health, creating difficulties in our struggle against hepatitis, diseases of the gastrointestinal duct and dengue. Since August 2001, the Cuban government has been seeking offers of pesticides to combat the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, but given the fact that the manufacturing plant is located in U.S. territory, Cuba has been denied its right to purchase it.

This is not a new reality. Back in 1981, in the midst of a dengue epidemic introduced in Cuba by an agent at the service of terrorist groups still acting against Cuba from the territory of the United States, the U.S. administration also denied the Cuban government's purchase of inputs and equipment to fight this dangerous disease. Suffice it to remember that this epidemic caused a death toll of 151 persons, including 101 children.

Innumerable have been the damages to the development of our human resources in the field of healthcare, due to the restrictions and prohibitions to scientific exchanges and the obstacles to obtain funding for research programs and professional upgrading. Visas continue to be routinely denied to Cuban scientists to travel to the United States, limits continue to be imposed on the Cuban access to scientific information, on the participation of Cuban researchers in scientific activities, courses and events and, likewise, the ban on US personalities in the field of science to travel to Cuba remains in place.

The most recent example was the case of the researchers from the Center for Molecular Immunology, specializing in the development of innovative treatment (vaccines, antibodies) against cancer, who were to travel to Orlando, Florida to participate in the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to be held in May 18-21. Only in the last two years the U.S. administration has denied visas to Cuban scientists from the above said Center in more than 6 times.

As explained above, by the end of last year, the US government did not object to the sale to Cuba of medicines and raw material to produce them.

However, the truth is that MEDICUBA, the Cuban medicine and medical inputs importing enterprise, contacted 17 U.S. firms and companies with requests for urgently needed drugs to replenish the reserves that were used out during hurricane Michelle, and the response was not satisfactory.

Of the 17 firms that were contacted: 8 did not reply, 4 showed interest but never made an offer, one said they could not make any offer because they had no instructions from their government (Pharmacia & Upjohns) and the other 4, made their offer but operations could not be completed as prices were excessively high, compared to those of the world market, except for one product, for which the operation was cancelled as negotiations took too long.

The reasons for this attitude lie not on a negative attitude of these companies to trade with Cuba but on the various decades of draconian prohibitions and a sophisticated governmental system to pursue and severely punish even the least sign of disobedience, that even today can stir up fear among the US companies and prevent them from any attempt at selling drugs to Cuba, even under the old fashioned and ineffective system of licenses.

3.2 FOOD

As it has already been mentioned, foodstuff imports for the population and for social consumption is one of the areas traditionally affected by the restrictions of the US blockade against Cuba, and conspires against the quantity and the quality of these products, and has a direct impact on the level of nutrition of the Cuban people and, thus, on its health.

Damage to our economy during 2001 in this important sector as a consequence of the blockade, amounted to 233.7 million U.S. dollars.

Damages to basic foodstuff imports for the people's diet -whose domestic prices as well as that of food allocations for social consumption at hospitals, nurseries and elderly homes, among others, are all state-subsidized- claimed 103.0 million U.S. dollar out of the abovementioned figure.

The above figure, which has such a sensitive impact, breaks down as follows:

38 million by way of differences of prices with regard to other markets, the only ones available for us, and the costs of which, under such circumstances, experienced an artificial increase;

30 million in transportation costs due to the tremendous distances that purchases must travel from remote overseas markets; and

35 million by way of financial costs of operations, significantly increased because of the blockade.

Moreover, as the impossibility of the country to engage in financial operation in U.S. dollars at the international market has remained uninterrupted for over 40 years, the cost of transactions grows considerably. Cuban enterprises have had to bear the responsibility for currency fluctuations and bank commissions for this service. In this regard, and just to have an idea, although the cost of credits for the import of foodstuffs in the international market amount to approximately 6%, Cuba is charged between 9 and 15% as a consequence of the risk for banks and financing suppliers. That means significantly additional expenditures every year.

The fact that all operations must be carried out in only one direction, thus preventing any Cuban export to the US, implies the loss of potentially substantial savings as vessels could sail back carrying Cuban exports to that country. In fact, as an example, in the case of bulk shipments, an approximately 36% of transportation cost could be saved, as average freight expenditures amount to 15.50 U.S.D. / MT, while the figure could be reduced to almost 10.00 U.S.D./ MT, should vessels take cargos back to U.S.

And as if the ban on Cuban exports to US were not enough, attention must be drawn to the fact that licenses issued by the Treasure Department, authorizing vessels from any nationality to carry foodstuff whose exports have been okayed by U.S. agencies, explicitly prohibits taking any cargo in Cuban ports to the U.S. markets or any other destination.

Added to the above is the fact that every visit by any U.S. businessman to Cuba to engage in direct negotiations with his/her counterparts, requires a license from the Treasury Department in order for the trip to be authorized.

As it is evidenced, it can be stated that additional expenditures caused by the impact of the blockade on Cuba's foodstuff imports, constitute from 20 to 25% of their total value. Those resources could be used to import larger amounts of powdered milk, poultry and soybean products and other items also essential for the children, the elderly and the sick.

In other words, should Cuba have commercial ties with the United States under normal conditions from all points of view, (financing, transportation and license-free operations) Cuba could purchase some 500 additional million dollars a year in foodstuff from U.S. producers, if compared to the purchases that may be carried out according to current licenses.

If as predicted, foodstuff imports for the people and social consumption and tourism grew up to 1200 and 1500 million dollars in the next 5 years, profits would be considerable for both U.S. producers and Cuban consumers.

The economic damage caused by the blockade have also had a negative impact on the country's poultry and livestock.

Poultry and eggs consumption has been dramatically affected. U.S. sources themselves recognize in their statistics on the development of World's Poultry Industry, that in Cuba, poultry and egg consumption during 1990 was 12.2 kgs., and 10.3 kgs, per capita respectively. However, in 2001, this consumption was estimated in 7.1 kgs and 5.1 per capita, which is evidence of a decrease by the Cuban population in the consumption of these important sources of proteins.

The blockade prevents access of Cuban poultry farming to highly developed U.S. technology, which affects the capacity to improve egg and poultry production. The direct impact of the blockade on poultry production has amounted some 59.6 million dollars a year. The search for raw materials for poultry feed in far-off markets, cereals and soybean flour among them, represented a 14.3 million dollar additional expenditure, which could have, otherwise, been used in the production of 250 million additional eggs every year.

Pork has also been severely affected. Today Cuba only produces 50% of this item when compared to the production in the 1980's, as a consequence of the deficit in animal feed affecting pork as well as the impossibility of using soft credits to finance the expansion of this branch.

Although Cuba is among the first world citrus fruits producers and exporters, citrus products and by-products are totally excluded from the U.S. market as a consequence of the blockade, resulting in losses of 4.5 million U.S.D. in prices and freights.

Summing up, acts aimed at affecting the consumption and trade in foodstuffs have been key components of the US policy of blockade against Cuba, aimed at triggering an atmosphere of dissatisfaction and domestic instability through shortages and limitations.


For more than 40 years, the economic warfare against Cuba has inflicted numerous losses and sacrifices to the Cuban education system. Damages to the material infrastructure of the Cuban schools have been considerable on very sensitive items such as textbooks, pencils and notebooks, school uniforms, teaching aids for artistic education and school sports, among many others.

These facts have had a negative impact on the further enhancement of Cuban children and youngsters' skills and capacities, and have only been overcome through the inventive and perseverance of a highly qualified and deeply committed teaching staff.

This genocidal policy has been aimed at blocking at all costs, Cuba's access to new technologies, advances of science and techniques and the sources of credit and finance for development through international bodies and financial institutions. Attempts have been made to prevent possibility of introducing computers in schools by thwarting access other countries' markets and know-how, as well as to hinder every endeavor by the Cuban Government to purchase school equipment.

The toughening of the blockade during the last decade further worsened the limitations and restrictions on education. A clear example: notebooks and pencils distributed during 2001-2002 school year represented only 50% of 1989's distribution levels.

The purchasing power of the existing financing to import teaching inputs for Cuban schools, dropped between 25 and 30% as a consequence of remote markets and often-higher prices because of the restrictions imposed by the U.S. blockade on Cuba.

An example: imports of basic teaching aids and school inputs amounted to 19 million dollars in 2001. Items must be brought from far-off markets, which implied excessive freights charges estimated in 20% of the whole value, which would have allowed the import of 37 million additional notebooks or 185 million additional pencils.

Despite the negative impact of the blockade, the Cuban government has given priority to the allocation of indispensable material and financial resources to maintain all schools open and working every academic year.

Only in 2001, more than 2.300 million pesos were allocated to the Education Budget, which amounted to 8.1% of the Cuban GDP and the highest in the history of the country.

Likewise, it is worth underscoring that despite limitations and hindrances, in the last two years, important social programs such as University for All, the Audiovisual Program for children, teenagers and youngsters, the creation and expansion of the number of community video and computer clubs for students and the people in general, the massive training of social workers and arts instructors to work at schools and in communities, general and basic training for youngsters between 17 and 29 years old not linked to studies or the working market, among others, have been implemented. Intense efforts are being undergone to reach the aim of not having more than 20 pupils in each elementary and high school classroom.

In the case of Educational Computing Programs and the Development of Audiovisuals and Educational Software, a significant effort has been made to provide all schools with the necessary means. On this account over 60 thousand PCs, tens of thousands of color TVs and VCRs have been purchased, and 12 thousand teachers and professors have been trained to teach computing to children, teenagers and youngsters.

These programs have been put into practice even in the outmost areas of the country. Some 2000 schools lacking electricity were provided with solar panels and the necessary equipment for the comprehensive training of children.

Only the political will of the Cuban government and its efforts to provide a comprehensive preparation to the people, has made it possible to achieve a level of education higher than that in many countries of the region, a fact acknowledged by U.N. agencies such as UNESCO and UNICEF.


The implementation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade by the US against Cuba has had numberless of negative effects on exports and services.

Cuban foreign trade has suffered considerable losses due to this criminal policy. Only last year, a 515.58 million dollar additional disbursement was made by way of differences in prices, unfavorable finance and transportation conditions, thus increasing insurance price and freights, etc.

One of our main exports: sugar, has been one of the most affected by the blockade. With the canceling of the sugar quota in the U.S. markets early in the 60s, the Cuban economy was severely affected. Suffice it to say that the U.S. imported from Cuba approximately 58.2% of its total sugar imports, which represented 80% of Cuba's total economic revenues.

Further, the blockade prevented access of Cuban sugar to the New York Coffee, Sugar and Cacao Stock Exchange, which sets the reference prices for crude sugar exports at world level. This originated economic losses and shortfall in competitiveness which have brought about 193.9 million dollars in economic damages during 2001-2002.

In May 1982, the Agriculture Department of the United States established a new country quota system for sugar imports for the US market. Today, 40 sugar producing countries carry out their trading operations through U.S. sugar quotas, which guarantee prices of around 21 cents a pound, four fold higher than the world market price, that has become increasingly residual.

Cuba would have placed last year approximately 918.180.23 MT in the U.S. market. Due to the denial of access to that market, the country had to sell its sugar at prices that could be negotiated, thus suffering losses of 177.3 million dollars.

Other Cuban leading export, nickel, continues to be affected by the blockade. Prohibition remains in force on imports by the United States of any product -partially or totally containing Cuban nickel in any of its components. On this account only, there were losses of 5.4 million dollars in 2001.

This sector has also been affected by other factor that have provoked further expenditures amounting to 8.6 million dollars, such as the use of intermediaries to place the commodity in the world market, obstacles to periodical shipments through regular international shipping lines, the remoteness of markets, and the limited amount of suppliers willing to trade with Cuba, among others.

A foreign trade activity closely related with foodstuff production and health is the import of chemical products. For instance, in the case of fertilizers, the blockade has caused the country to disburse up to 47.0 additional dollars per metric ton over market rates, which implied the additional disbursement of 2.3 million dollars in 2001.

In this sense, the fight against pests such as the broca of the coffee (hypoteneneus hampei), the Thrips palmi and the ácaro del vaneado del arroz, which according to evidences, were intentionally introduced in the Cuban agriculture, have been severely affected when a U.S. company purchased Cuba's traditionally pesticide supplier firm.

During the last decade, the tourist industry experienced an important development, which placed it as the main source of income in the Cuban economy. This development has had to be carried out under hostile conditions due to the reinforcing of the blockade. There are a number of tourist-related sectors which do not escape the negative impact of this policy.

Following, an enlightening example in the hotel industry:

The Hilton International Group plc whose parent company is based in England, had to withdraw from businesses already underway to manage two hotels of Quinta del Rey S.A joint venture in Cayo Coco and Havana. Hilton International informed the Cuban Ministry of Tourism that their attorneys thought that US authorities would consider the business proposal a violation of the Helm-Burton Act, as all operations of the group were carried out within and under the framework of the Hilton International Corporation a US subsidiary. Had negotiations been completed the country would have raked in some 107.2 million dollars in 25 years.

Cuba is an ideal route for liners cruising the Caribbean. However, it cannot participate of the profits these services would generate because of the Torricelli banning on Cruisers companies.

Between December 2001 and March 2002, European Festival Cruise Lines based one of its largest vessels, El Mistral, in Havana, as homeport, where it weekly began its voyages. The cruiser's route is one among more than twenty others advertised in the company's brochures. For this reason, it was subjected to enormous pressure to persuade it to cancel this itinerary, and was forced to include the warning: These cruisers cannot be commercialized in the United States of America in its May-December 2002 promotional materials.

Likewise, with the purchase of Costa Cruciere, by Carnival Corporation, a US-capital company, the U.S. State and Treasure Departments imposed the termination of Cuba Project, which has implied further losses of around 62.2 million dollars, included the freezing of the investment program to repair the Sierra Maestra dock.

In addition to the restrictions previously explained, the U.S. legislation on the blockade establishes the banning for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, regulation that violates the constitutional right of the U.S. citizens to travel freely to any country.

The adverse effects caused by this regulation on the tourist industry are significant. The President of the American Society of Travel Agencies (ASTA), in a visit to Cuba in April this year, stated that his organization predicts that if travel bans were lifted, the first year after this decision, one million US citizens would arrive in Cuba and, after five years, this figure would increase to five million U.S. tourists.

The enforcement of these regulations involves fines and other criminal sanctions, which have been strengthened by the current Administration. An example of the above is the increase in the number of fines paid by U.S. citizens for traveling to Cuba without proper authorization.

Only in 2001, the Division of the Treasury Department that investigates travels to Cuba, imposed 698 fines -each of them worth 7 500 U.S.D.—on U.S. citizens, 520 more fines than in the year 2000.

On March 15, 2002 in a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Paul O'Neill, recognized that if the Bush Administration approved the reduction of resources aimed at persecuting and fining US citizens that travel to Cuba, those resources would have a better use in the fight against terrorism. A few hours later, as a result of the pressure exerted by the Miami Cuban lobby, the White House issued a communiqué explaining that Secretary O'Neill supported the policy of the Administration in relation with travel to Cuba, and that his words did not have the intention of promoting changes in this regard. 3

Civil aviation is an essential link for the obtaining of revenues through tourism. The policy maintained by the different U.S. Administrations, in violation of the standards and precepts enshrined in the International Civil Aviation Convention (the Chicago Convention), and particularly in violation of article 44 on the aims and objectives of the Convention, demonstrates the attempt to isolate Cuba from the international system.

The restrictions presented in the Report presented by Cuba last year4 are still in place and have provoked, up to May 2002, losses amounting to 153.6 million dollars. Among these restrictions it could be highlighted the impossibility of acquiring and renting high-performance planes; accessing new technologies in communications, air navigation and radio localization stations; restrictions on the use by our airlines of Computerized Reservation Systems (CRS) such as SABRE, GALILEO and WORLDSPAN; the exclusion of Cuban airlines from the services of US aviation fuel suppliers, among many others.

What is explained in this Section confirms the harmful impact of the policy of blockade on the Cuban economy and gives an idea of the sacrifices and limitations confronted by the Cuban people over 40 years. If we add the damages during 2001 in only nine sectors of the Cuban economy, they amount to the significant figure of 643 million U.S. dollars.


As it has been pointed out in previous reports, since December 1998, the Cuban Government has denounced the discriminatory nature of Section 211 of the U.S. 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other fora.

The Section was approved through fabricated procedures, conceived by lawmakers closely linked to the anti-Cuban interests with influence on the U.S. political circles. Its objective was to extend the principles of the Helms Burton Act to the field of intellectual property that had been exempted from the measures of the blockade imposed by the US government against Cuba.

This regulation, unprecedented in the history of intellectual property law, has the determined objective of hindering the development of foreign investments in Cuba that are involved in the international commercialization of Cuban products with recognized international prestige.

Section 211 was presented to a Judicial and Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate by an attorney and adviser to the Bacardi Company when this enterprise was facing a lawsuit in New York Southern District by the legal owners of the Havana Club brand for the illegal use of the brand's name, thus revealing its links to Bacardi's interests.

So, this section, together with the rest of the blockade regulations, was used to support the ruling of the New York court that deprived the Cuban-French joint venture Havana Club Holding of its rights to register and potentially commercialize Havana Club Cuban rum in the US, issue that has caused innumerable economic losses to the Cuban people.

Recently the WTO Appealing Body ruled that Section 211 is incompatible with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) since it hinders access to US Courts of the owners of commercial brand names and its successors in interest, to make their rights stand.

Likewise, in January this year that same body recognized that Section 211 violates the WTO's basic principles, that is; National Treatment and Most-Favored-Nation Treatment. Therefore, Section 211 should be modified or revoked, since it is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the international commitments endorsed by the United States in the field of intellectual property.

Once more, the U.S. government has overlooked recommendations by multilateral institutions and international legislation supporting their activities. Cuba will continue to denounce the application of this law as long as it is not rescinded, for being in clear violation of International Law in terms of intellectual property.


As the reader may have seen, numberless are the examples illustrating the enormous difficulties permanently confronted by our people throughout the last 40 years, provoking a noticeable deterioration in all national economy spheres.

Following, additional examples demonstrating the adverse effects of this policy.

In March 2002, the U.S. NGO Resource Exchange International-Cuba was threatened by the US Interests Section in Havana because of its scientific links with the Calixto García Hospital of the City of Havana. This organization was prevented from engaging in joint research and scientific-technical cooperation projects with any Cuban public health institution. Additionally, it was threatened with the invalidation of its permit to travel to Cuba in case any cooperation documents were to be signed.

On January 18 this year, Mr. Jonathan B. Hill, Counselor to the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), forwarded to the Head of the Department for Tariffs of Cubana de Aviación the fax originally sent on December 11, 2001, communicating that after revising the control regulations for Cuba: ATPCO will not be able to engage in business with Cubana. Thus, on April 10, 2002 all our tariffs, regulations and data were deleted from ATPCO's database.

Joint ventures and key sectors within the Cuban exports report important losses for not conducting transactions in U.S. dollars. Habanos S.A. reported in 2001 losses amounting to 3.94 million dollars. Brascuba S.A. reported losses for 76 000 dollars and ETECSA accounted for 959 800 dollars.

It continues to be impossible for Cuban Insurance Enterprises to purchase re-insurance protections in the U.S. market. Furthermore, due to the ever-growing acquisition by US companies of European re-insurance enterprises and brokers, 71 enterprises, such as ERC Frankona, American Re, ACE Global Markets, AGM and ACE Europe refused in 2002 to provide us with re-insurance protections, only because of their relations with US interests.

There are ridiculous examples like the following: In December 2001, XEROX AG, subsidiary in Zurich, refused to renew the contract of leasing a photocopy machine to the Embassy of Cuba in Switzerland. The justification for this refusal was based on a document containing the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, in which Cuba appears as a blockaded country in terms of computing products, technologies and software items.

Financially speaking, the situation described in the 2001 Report , contained in document A/56/276 remains invariable. Therefore, Cuba continues without access to the traditional U.S. financial sources or those of the Breton Woods system. Thus, Cuba has not been able to participate in loans which, as indicated in the aforementioned document, amounted to 53 000 million dollars between 1997 and 2000.

For instance, during financial year 2001, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank allotted 5,300,1 and 7,956,8 million U.S.D. to Latin America. If Cuba could have had access to those loans during the aforementioned year, it could have obtained some 250 million U.S.D., which would have allowed the financing of important social and infrastructure projects, such as 150 000 two-room houses and two 600-bed hospitals or the total reconstruction of roads in the City of Havana and the construction of 600-bed hospitals.

Likewise, difficulties have remained in place to access medium and long-term credits from the banks and financial institutions of the rest of the world. The application of the so-called Cuba Risk to those operations have led the country to only access short-term loans with high interest rates, thus restricting the use of financial resources available to guarantee sustainable development and a suitable debt servicing capacity. Currently, the scarce loans for development are obtained at interest rates of between 11 and 18%, which increase the price of up financing prices between 5 and 12 percentage points when compared to credits that could be granted by the development agencies.

Likewise Cuban banks are not allowed to maintain normal corresponding and accounts relations and exchanges with U.S. banks, which considerably affects services to customers.

Companies with business in the oil sector face tremendous difficulties to obtain goods and services required for their operations. The impossibility of obtaining them in the United States, the increase in the cost on account of far-off markets purchases and the delay of supplies required for the implementation of projects, meant a 25% increase with regard to the normal cost of inputs and contracted services. In account of the level of those investments, damages amounted to 24,6 million U.S.D. in this sector.

Following you will find another memorable case: In June, TEXACO's General Manager deprived the Embassy of Cuba in Belize of the right of consuming fuel for their cars from that enterprise, under the pretext of complying with the regulations imposed by the blockade.

In the cement industry, joint venture Cementos Curacao is facing limitations to access new markets for its products due to the blockade, which generated damages of 2 million U.S.D. in 2001.

Foreign investments have not been exempted from the damages caused by the blockade, which is evident from the identification of a number of actions taken by the U.S. government to delay, obstruct and even prevent the development of this process in the country.

First, it is worth highlighting that by late September 2001 the U.S. carried out direct foreign investments amounting to 134.1 billion dollars; on this account, Cuba did not receive a single cent, as has been happening for the last 43 years.

The Center for the Promotion of Investments in Cuba has received more than 538 U.S. businessmen interested in investing in agriculture, transportation, food, pharmaceuticals, tourism, communication and finances. None of those interests has materialized because of the blockade.

Biotechnology is a clear example of the above. Thirteen well-known enterprises, -six from the U.S.- showed interest in carrying out projects in Cuba, but never initiated negotiations in account of the obstacles posed by the policy of blockade. Projects consulted were worth 200 million dollars. The participation of these enterprises would have allowed the joint development of a number of products as well as the financing for its registrations and further commercialization.

It is worth remembering that Sherrit International and Israeli group BM are still sanctioned under the Helms-Burton act.

Last year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sent a note dated May 30, 2001, FAC No. C-192071, to the French enterprise Vert Agro BP, communicating that its funds, in the Citibank New York, amounting to 7,490.00 dollars, had been placed in a blocked account. As they originated from negotiations with the Cuban enterprise Tropiflora.

Cuban port activity has been prevented from yearly collecting 10 million dollars for of repairing services in our shipyards, due to the limited arrival of ships in our ports as a consequence of the restrictions imposed by Torricelli Act. Likewise, approximately one million dollars are lost annually because of the impossibility of selling in the US market products such as catamarans and speedboats.

The Fishing industry suffers substantial losses in terms of high tariffs, sources of supplies very far-off from natural geographic area, high freights and the acquisition of supplies through third countries with prices higher by 15% than those of the U.S. market. In this context, losses between January 2001 to May 2002 account for 18 million dollars.

The Enterprise of Wires and Cables, ELEKA, could purchase all its raw material in the U.S. market if the blockade was not in force. However, in terms of imports, it has to pay an additional amount of 800 dollars per every container.

The Helms Burton Act thwarted the creation of a joint venture for the production of optic fiber, coaxial, and data transmission cables for their sale in Cuba, Central America and the Caribbean. This meant the loss of tenth of millions of dollars per year.

Entrepreneurial Group CICLEX, acquires products and equipments for the production of bicycles, means of transportation widely used in Cuba. It has paid prices that are higher by 40% than those of the U.S. market, since their market choices are only Europe, Central America and South America. This has meant additional expenses in the amount of 20.2 million dollars.

The import of tires for the equipments used in the agricultural sector has been affected in terms of freights, the prices of which have increased by an additional half a million dollars, since we have to resort to the Asian market where 80% of inputs are purchased. This amount would allow the acquisition of 45 000 additional tires in the U.S. market.

In the year 2000 a project of electronic trade in the city of Santiago de Cuba, being undertaken with the support of International Telecommunications Union, to allow manufacturers from the eastern region of Cuba to sell their goods and services through Internet, has been paralyzed, since the technology needed for digital certificates has not been available. This technology is supplied by U.S. enterprise that, in account of the blockade, are not allowed to supply it to Cuba.

Software licenses, their updating and technology transfers must be purchased through third countries due to the US regulations that hinder the access of Cuba to them. This increases prices and delays their purchase.

An example can be seen in the Netscape page:


*Netscape Strong Encryption Eligibility

Netscape Browser software contains encryption technology that is subject to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations and other U.S. laws, and may not be exported or re-exported to certain countries (currently Afghanistan (Taliban-controlled areas), Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) or to persons or entities prohibited from receiving U.S. exports (including Denied Parties, entities on the Bureau of Export Administration Entity List, and Specially Designated Nationals). For more information on the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR <>), 15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774, and the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA), please see the BXA homepage <>.



1 President Bush Announces Initiative for a New Cuba.

2 Hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government.

3 O'Neill Veers from Bush Policy, The Associated Press, 15 March 2002.

4 Report of Secretary General Need to Put an End to the Economic, Trade and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United states of America against Cuba, A/56/276, 7 August 2001.