Elio Delgado Legon
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.