US Toughens its Blockade against Cuba

Elio Delgado Legon

One of the nearly unanimous United Nations votes urging the United States to end its embargo on Cuba. Photo: UN

HAVANA TIMES – The US blockade against Cuba, waged as an economic war and an obsession of persecution throughout the entire world, is a failed policy. Barack Obama recognized this when he was president, and added that the only thing it does is harm the Cuban people.

In fact, that was always the blockade’s objective: to make the Cuban people hungry, in need of basic items and desperate so that they would rise up against the revolutionary government.

However, President Donald Trump and his ultra-conservative advisors continue to take measures to toughen the blockade, not caring about what harm this might cause the Cuban people, and they are hypocrites when they say they are doing this precisely to help the Cuban people.

For 27 consecutive years, the UN General Assembly has adopted the Resolution called “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” with an almost unanimous vote, the US and its ally Israel being the only detractors.

Global opinion is unanimous when it says that the only thing the blockade does is make the Cuban people’s lives more difficult as they can’t buy things from this country, which is only 90 miles away from the island, and they instead have to import many products from Europe or Asia, paying higher prices and spending huge sums in cargo fees.

A country being refused the opportunity to buy medicine to save a child’s life makes absolutely no sense and is exceptionally cruel, then they go and publicly declare that they are doing all of this to help the Cuban people. And, I wonder: When did the Cuban people ever ask the US for their help?

Many voices have spoken out across the world and expressed their concern for the US’ new measures against Cuba and have called these unilateral sanctions illegal and illegitimate, as these kinds of measures can only be adopted by international bodies, such as the United Nations.

Important economic and political powers such as Russia, China, Canada, Spain, Mexico and the EU have expressed their disagreement with the US’ measures which are related to the waiver on the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act (a legal monster that violates international law) being lifted.

Multimillion-dollar fines from the US for foreign banks who operate with Cuba have become common practice and the US government has decreed sanctions against other countries. However, both these sanctions and fines for banks are illegal in international law.

No country has the unilateral legal power to sanction another country, or to fine a foreign company, based on laws that aim to have a global reach and, in fact, make the US a worldwide dictatorship.

The military and economic power of the US, is heading in a completely different direction to the UN’s action plan to reach its Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, recently declared: “2019 is a decisive year for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. We haven’t been keeping up the pace, up until now. We are facing serious challenges and growing threats.”

It’s definitely no small deal that the most powerful country in the world with the most resources has retracted itself from the Paris Agreement, and instead of contributing to UN efforts to reach its Sustainable Development Goals, is imposing sanctions on many countries to hinder their progress, creating economic crises, with the aim to overturn governments in power that they don’t like, because these have independent foreign policies and national social policies that benefit the poorest and not multinational corporations.

According to the UN Charter, every country has the right to organize its society as their people best see fit, without any other country having the right to interfere in national matters; but the US doesn’t respect the UN Charter, or the people’s sovereign decisions. It has tried out many tactics on Cuba and it has failed. Now, it is trying to toughen the blockade with new measures, but it will fail in the face of our people who firmly stand by their Party and government.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

22 thoughts on “US Toughens its Blockade against Cuba

  • Martin, as other contributors will agree, I am not an admirer of the Castro communist dictatorship, but the US introduced Helms-Burton and President Trump has just extended its affects – that is why other countries including the European Union and Canada are objecting. Such action causes one to recall the US Secretary of State writing to Britain’s Foreign Secretary on July 29, 1895:
    “The US is practically sovereign on this continent and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.”
    You have to agree that that statement smacks not only of conceit (forgetting who invaded Washington and burned down the White House) but hegemony.

  • Yup Nick!

  • It’s not a friggin’ BLOCKADE!!!!! IT’S A BOYCOTT! And although I don’t like the US foreign policy every country has the right to trade or not with whomever they want. And if the US doesn’t want to do business with Cuba because they are basically a corrupt military dictatorship that enslaves a whole people for 60 years now and stole US property, they have every right to do so. Not that they aren’t hypocrites doing business with other corrupt military dictators.

  • Good writings ?

  • Hello Mr MacD. Hope you are keeping well and that you wintered well.

    Regardless of your opinion, or for that matter, my opinion of the current ‘Cuban leadership group’…..
    Regardless of anyone’s opinion of any Cuban Government, the USA has absolutely zero authority (legal, moral or otherwise) to dictate what goes on in Cuba.
    You mention ‘reciprocation’. No Cuban Government, regardless of your or my opinion of them, has any obligation to bend to U.S. will.
    (And here I shall resist this latest opportunity to illustrate the hypocrisy of so much U.S foreign policy by recounting all the despicable regimes which the USA backs and has backed historically – although as a British Citizen I can vouch that the USA is not the only ‘western’ country to back despicable regimes currently or historically).
    President Obama tried to bring an end to a gutless, authoritarian and failed policy.
    As I interpret it, he did this because he saw the policy for exactly what it was: Gutless, Authoritarian and a Total Abject Failure.
    He also had the intelligence to see ‘the long game’. When you plant a tree, you need patience before it bears it’s first fruit.

    Sadly, I would have to agree with you that trump may not necessarily be a one term President.
    All he needs is around a third of the electorate to vote for him as was the case last time around.

    I feel sure you will have noted when I stated: ‘The USA has it’s flaws like all places but it is ultimately a great and resilient country and will recover from this dark chapter – although it may take a while’.

    It may indeed take a while Mr MacD.

  • I think that you meant to say David wins. Russia is NOT bigger than the United States. In fact, the Russian economy is one-fifth the size of the US economy.

  • Only those who vote in the US will decide that, for the rest, it is wishful thinking. Unfortunately Donald Trump is not a phony clown, he is a calculating populist who has gathered together as supporters those who Hillary Clinton described as “deplorables” and dedicated Republicans have subsequently joined in – albeit some of them with reluctance. Trump is more accurately described as “a bully” and those dedicated Republicans have sheepishly acquiesced. Don’t count on him being a one time President, remember that 63 million Americans voted for him and their political system denies many people the vote.

  • Remember Debra to add Cuba to China, Russia and North Korea as “countries that have actually threatened America and its way of life in the past.”
    It was Fidel Castro Ruz who in writing urged Nikita Khrushchev to make an initial nuclear strike against the US, and thankfully Khrushchev responded by saying that doing so would undoubtedly start a Third World War. That is a matter of record!
    Both Fidel Castro Ruz and Dr, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna Lynch were furious about Khrushchev agreeing with Kennedy to remove the nuclear weapons from Cuba, But part of that deal was a commitment by the US that it would not invade Cuba in the future – a commitment which they have honoured.
    Can you imagine a greater threat than a nuclear one?

  • ……and Obama in his speech made the overture to open discussions on the embargo including saying that there would need to be some reciprocation by the Cuban regime. A mere seven (7) days later, TeleSurTV (Channel 4 in Cuba) and the national news (Channel 1) read in full a letter headed “The Man Obama” supposedly written by the physically and mentally ailing Fidel Castro but undoubtedly with Raul Castro’s approval, rejecting Obama’s initiative outright. On the following day, Bruno Rodriguez gave a follow-up speech saying that there would be no reciprocation. Obama opened the door only to have it slammed in his face.
    As you correctly said Nick, Obama is a decent, intelligent and wordly man. Oh, that the same could be said of any of the current Cuban leadership group – all of whom still obey Raul.

  • Dale, you did not stand in line for a couple of hours as a consequence of any action by the US including the embargo. You stood in line as a consequence of the policies and priorities of the Castro communist regime. Secondly you were fortunate in finding some chicken legs. Thirdly, can you name any medicines or drugs that cannot enter Cuba because of the embargo?
    It suits the Castro regime to foist responsibility for all its numerous mistakes and incompetence on to the embargo. Don’t be fooled!
    Finally which country(ies) would you prefer to live next to? North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, China? You have the longest undefended border in the world and although the US has a multitude of faults, do you really dislike the Americans, or is it just Donald Trump and those ‘deplorables’ who support him?
    Those who are European, know what it is like to have bad neighbours – take a quick look at history, how do you fancy having any of the Asian countries next door, or the African, or the South American?
    I have plenty of criticisms of the US – especially in regard to Cuba, but I am also a realist. Canada only has one neighbour, how would you like half a dozen?

  • Cuba? The Castro’s monarchy wants in exchange millions in compensation for the “embargo” 60 years of dictatorship is enough. Hope that trump take a drastic solution before leaving office.

  • Goliath didn t win a thing, just misery in this case

  • Totally agree the us president has no morals I do hope Goliath wins and I have the pleasure to be able to see it. He won’t go for Russia etc as they bigger than he is

  • Very well said Nick. The more people who think Trump is a phony clown, the greater chance of him being a 1 term president!

  • There is only one rationale behind this return to a half century of useless and gutless failed policy. The only rationale is to try and secure Floridian Electoral College Votes in 2020.
    President Obama had a real world rationale (which had nothing to do with trying to prevail in the antiquated U.S. voting system designed for the revolutionary U.S. reality of 240 years ago).
    President Obama could see a bigger picture.
    That’s because he is a decent, intelligent and worldly man.
    The current incumbent of The White House is a cowardly, compulsive liar and cheat. His backers, lackeys and cohorts are from various points on the right-wing to far-right-wing spectrum (To say nothing of the support of a few million fundamentalist religious zealots).
    The USA has it’s flaws like all places but it is ultimately a great and resilient country and will recover from this dark chapter – although it may take a while.
    Meanwhile, Cuba will put up with this reprise of failed U.S. policy for as long as it has to.
    The Cuban Government will not be the ones to suffer unduly in terms of being weakened by this. They are only ever strengthened by U.S bully-boy tactics.
    It is the Cuban people who will bear the brunt and suffer the most.
    But the Liar-in-Chief-trump doesn’t really give a flying f**k about Cuba or it’s people. Deep down in his own filthy, twisted little mindset he probably brackets Cubans with Mexicans and all other American Nationalities from south of the River Grande………………..

  • Mr trump is just a selfish bullying human that only cares about his own interests doing this to Cuba doesn’t make a bit of difference only he like to make the Cuban people suffer shame on you us Congress

  • You think is a good idea to tighten the embargo, to stop visas for Cuban nationals, to sue the for properties in Cuba. Then you think is a good idea to starve the Cuban people. Where is your humanity? Why is Donald Trump so set in destroying a country that has done nothing to America? Where is his humanity? How come he does not go after China, Russia or North Korea, countries that actually have threatened America and its way of life in the past?
    Here we are again: David and Goliath but Goliath will win, again!

  • Power to the people! Stick it to the man!

  • Im ashamed to live beside the usa.the bullying and meddling in auther countrys affairs .is discusseing .they are pushing things to Canadian. I stood in line with my wife in las tunas cuba for 2 hrs just for bread then 2 hrs for chicken legs.thare are old peaple that cant stand or wait in line.simple medicines aren’t available.i bring what i can .cubans are q good qnd proud peaple that share all they have.we could learn a lot from cubans.

  • Cuba offered to compensate US companies like they did with other countries but the US didn’t want to negotiate.

  • You totally gloss over that to fully appreciate the Helms-Burton Act (Embargo) , one must keep in mind it’s underlying rationale. Cuban communism represented the largest theft (non-compensated mass nationalization) in history of U. S. citizens’ commercial possessions. This convinced President John F. Kennedy that an embargo would be the least the United States could do in response.

  • “According to the UN Charter, every country has the right to organize its society as their people best see fit”

    Then why has Cuba been a 1 party communist dictatorship for 60 years?
    Change that problem solved.

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