The Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Pedro Luis Gonzalez, has called for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States.
He said in spite of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA, there remained several obstacles that prohibited free trade between Cuba and other countries of the world.
Addressing a press conference at the Cuban Embassy in Accra, Ambassador Gonzalez disclosed that the government of Cuba will table another draft resolution at the United Nations general assembly on 26 October,2016, calling for an end to the fifty-four-year-old blockade that has wrecked the Cuban economy and brought untold hardship to the Cuban people.
According to him, seven hundred and fifty-three billion, six hundred and eighty-eight million dollars ($753,688,000,000) has been lost in trade since the imposition of the trade blockade on Cuba, by the Kennedy administration on February 3, 1962. He added that between March 2015 and March 2016 another four billion, six hundred and eight million and three hundred thousand dollars ($4,608,300,000) has been lost due to the application of the sanctions.
He said in spite of the admission by the US government that its traditional policy of hostility towards Cuba had failed, and irrespective of the repeated calls on the US Congress by President Barack Obama to lift the blockade, Cuba was still treated as an enemy and there were several laws applied rigorously by US government agencies that hindered greater corporation between the two countries.
“There can be no justification for the embargo imposed on Cuba, especially as we on our part have taken every step to normalize relations with the United States. We recognize that the United States is a big country with a big economy, but we demand mutual respect from them no matter how small Cuba is.”
He described it as most unfortunate that although the United States has expunged Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, his country is still considered as an enemy of the USA, an act he considered contradictory to the very laws of the USA.
“We (Cuba) should never have been placed on a list as state sponsors of terrorism because Cuba has never committed any act of terrorism. We rather stood in solidarity with the dispossessed and offered humanitarian assistance to the marginalized people of the world.
“When other peoples of the world came to Cuba we trained them as doctors, engineers and teachers in order to create a world devoid of disease and illiteracy and to build a world fashioned on the foundations of social justice for all and it must not be forgotten that in the course of our internationalist duty, we lost many Cuban patriots who fought in solidarity to liberate Africans and other suffering people around the world from the yoke of imperialism” he said.
Ambassador Gonzalez noted that his country took a great risk when it decided to normalize relations with the United States with the awareness that the two countries practiced very different political and economic systems.
He expressed appreciation to the President and the people of Ghana for their condemnation of the inhumane economic embargo imposed on Cuba, adding that Ghana is one of the countries that have consistently supported the course of the Cuban people.
Over the past years, Cuba has sent 24 draft resolutions to the United Nations demanding the immediate lifting of the trade embargo imposed on Cuba following the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959 by progressive forces led by Commandante Fidel Castro.
Duke Tagoe, Modern Ghana
October 17, 2016