Cuba reported record losses due to the hardened US embargo despite a pandemic: 5.5 billion dollars

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At current prices, the “accumulated damages” in the almost six decades of the blockade add up to the “colossal figure” of 144,413 million dollars, the government said.

The Cuban government denounced that the island lost in the last year the record number of $ 5.57 billion due to embargo financial institution of the United States, a country that despite the coronavirus pandemic tightened the sanctions in force since 1962.

The figures are reflected in the annual report prepared by Cuba on the damage that the so-called US “blockade” causes to its economy and which supports the draft resolution that since 1992 Cuba presents each year to the UN General Assembly. to demand the end of the economic, commercial and financial “blockade”.

According to the document, presented in Havana by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, the estimated annual losses due to the embargo for the first time exceeded $ 5 billion between April 2019 and March 2020, compared to the 4,343 million quantified in the same period 2018-2019.

At current prices, the “accumulated damages” in the almost six decades of embargo add up to the “colossal figure” of 144,413 million dollars, “which for a small economy like that of Cuba is a truly overwhelming burden,” said the minister.

If the calculation is carried out taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the price of gold in the international market, the sum of the losses since the embargo was imposed exceeds one trillion dollars, which represents a growth of 19% compared to the year above, according to the report.

Although the Cuban Government has repeatedly described Washington’s economic policy against Havana as “genocidal,” the Foreign Minister stressed that “the cruelty of its application in the midst of a pandemic is unprecedented,” he reached “unprecedented levels of aggressiveness” and hindered the fight against the coronavirus in the Caribbean country.

Among them, Rodríguez cited the “enormous difficulties” or directly the impossibility of acquiring drugs, medical equipment or protective material to respond to the pandemic, not only in the US but in third countries, which “once again” puts highlight the extraterritoriality of the sanctions.

“The blockade leaves no scope that it does not pursue”, lamented the minister.

The tightening of sanctions in the last year is part of the renewed hostility on the part of Washington towards the island since the arrival at the White House of Republican Donald Trump, which has slowed down and reversed the rapprochement promoted by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Between the new measures imposed In the last year there is a ban on flights from the United States to all Cuban provinces except Havana, the veto to stay in state hotels and “the persecution and intimidation of companies that send fuel supplies to Cuba,” the report states.

The document details, on this last matter, that “illegitimate sanctions were imposed against 27 companies, 54 vessels and 3 individuals linked to the” energy transport sector, “none of them of United States origin or subject to the jurisdiction of that country.”

These decisions, added to previous restrictions dictated by the Trump Administration, they have hit the Cuban economy hard, highly dependent on tourism income. The total closure due to the pandemic dealt the final blow to that sector and exacerbated the crisis that Cuba was already going through due to the decrease in aid from Venezuela and the problems of its planned system.

The lack of foreign exchange that the country suffers at this time has translated into a growing shortage of food, medicine and basic products throughout Cuba.

“Whoever wins” in the US elections in November “will have to face the tangible reality that the blockade harms the Cuban people and violates human rights,” said the foreign minister, who deplored “the historical inability of the US Government to recognize that Cuba is an independent nation that must fully exercise its sovereignty and self-determination. “

The Foreign Minister said that “it is cynical to tell Cubans that the blockade has no real impact,” and that it is “deeply immoral” to justify this policy “with the intention of modifying” the country’s political system.

The report presented, which has already been sent to the UN General Secretariat, is the basis of the draft resolution that Cuba has presented each year to the General Assembly of that body since 1992 to demand the end of the economic, commercial and financial “blockade”.

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