Sunday 15 December, 2019

Cuba thanks St Lucia for voting against US embargo at UN

Cuba’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, His Excellency Alejandro Simancas Marin

Cuba’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, His Excellency Alejandro Simancas Marin

Cuba’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, His Excellency Alejandro Simancas Marin, says he is thankful to the government and people of Saint Lucia for their friendship and solidarity in calling for the United States to lift its embargo against his country.

“We deeply appreciate the expression of solidarity coming from the government and people of Saint Lucia. We really appreciate the sincere links of friendship that unites us,” Ambassador Marin told reporters.

The ambassador also praised the international community for voting against the United States at this year’s General Assembly of the United Nations to end the blockade it has against the Spanish-speaking island.

The UN, this year, for the 28th consecutive year, adopted a resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo by the United States against Cuba.

The vote, which was held last Thursday, saw 187 member States supporting the resolution with Brazil and Israel joining the United States in voting no. Colombia and Ukraine abstained.

“The will of the international community is very important in order to get the United States to lift the blockade. The international solidarity is absolutely fundamental,” Marin said.

He added that the behaviour of the current US government is an insult to the international community which has condemned the blockade. Such behaviour, he said, ignores successive resolutions by the UN General Assembly and the declarations of the Heads of states of Government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Union, the Group of 77, China and the non-aligned movement.

 Ambassador Marin said that for the year April 2018 to March 2019 Cuba had suffered losses of US$ 4,343,600 and that under the Trump administration, Cuba’s economic situation had worsened. However, this would not undermine the resolve of the Cuban people to resist the economic pressure coming from the United States. Cubans, he said, will not move a millimetre in its will to resist the United States.

“Can you imagine how the Cuban economy can develop within a year with four billion dollars,” Marin said, noting that throughout the years of the blockade Cuba has lost hundreds of millions even billions of dollars.

“Some people call the United States sanction against Cuba an embargo, but in reality, it is also a blockade. It is not United States companies that are not dealing with Cuba, it is a policy to block the Cuban economy from any kind of commercial relationship. It’s a block against the financial survival of Cuba and we witness that every day,” Marin said.

He said Cuba will have to find a way to develop itself which is somewhat difficult seeing that the tentacles of the United States are very strong and very long.

Ambassador Marin called the blockade imposed by the United States for nearly six decades as “most unfair, severe and a prolonged system of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country.”

“The policy of blockade against Cuba continues to represent an impediment to the development of all the potential of the Cuban economy, for the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan and for attaining Agenda 2030 and its objectives for Sustainable Development,” Marin said.

The ambassador showed journalists a list that revealed that damages accumulated over the six decades of the blockade amounted to US$138,843,400,000 with total quantifiable harm reaching more than US$922,630,000,000.

Damages caused by Cuba’s exclusion from the United States market for the year April 2018 – March 2019 amounted US$163,108,659. For that same year potential export income lost was valued at US$2,343,135,842.

Ambassador Marin said the damage caused by sanctions on Cuba in the field of health is unquestionable, noting that the hostile policy obstructs the acquisition of technology, raw materials, reagents, diagnostic tools, equipment and spare parts as well as medicines for the treatment of serious diseases like cancer.

He said that between April 2018 – March 2019 damages in that sector amounted to $104,148,178 a figure that far exceeded last year’s estimate of US$6,123,498.

For that same period, the consequences of the "blockade" in the food and agriculture sector amounted to US$412,230,614 and in the tourism industry damages amounted to US$1.383 billion. The ambassador revealed that if the blockade did not exist studies indicated that 35 percent of all visitors to Cuba annually would come from the United States.

Regarding the biopharmaceutical industry, the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology reported that revenues not received from potential exports to the United States of Heberprot-p, the only medication of its kind for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, would have reached US$103 million in 2018 if only five percent of United States patients with this condition used Heberprot-p annually.

Ambassador Marin noted that the construction sector continues to face serious difficulties in acquiring more efficient, lightweight technologies that require less energy and materials and that total damages caused by the U.S. blockade in the area of foreign trade were valued at US$2,896,581,555.

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