REGARDLESS of the outcome of November’s presidential election, as long as it remains in force, Cuba will maintain its demand for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government.This is according to Cuba’s Ambassador to Guyana, Julio César González Marchante, who noted that the international community has supported Cuba in its effort to remove the blockade.
Cuba and the United States re-established diplomatic relations this year after 56 years and the move was made concrete when President Barack Obama visited Cuba in March. Commercial flights have also resumed; however, according to Ambassador Marchante , economic, commercial and financial sanctions against Cuba remain in force, as do the laws that support them, while the restrictions they generate continue to be applied.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Cuban embassy on High Street in Kingston on Thursday, which was designated Cuban Cultural Day, Ambassador Marchante said that the sanctions against Cuba remain in force, as do the laws that support them, while the restrictions they generate continue to be applied.
He termed the blockade a flagrant violation of international law, adding that it is contrary to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter. He said that it constitutes a violation of the right to peace, development and security of a sovereign State.
According to ambassador Marchante, the amendments made in 2015 and 2016 by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments to some of the regulations of the blockade policy in order to modify their implementation are not assisting the process. ”While they constitute steps in the right direction, they are not enough”, he said.
He said that the U.S. continues to ban exports to Cuba of products and equipment that are important to key sectors of the economy, while the persistence of the blockade prevents Cuba from freely exporting products and services to the U.S. He noted too that Cuba cannot have direct banking relations with the U.S. or, except in the case of telecommunications, receive U.S. investment in other sectors of the economy.
He explained that for business transactions, monies which are being earned by Cuba have to be transferred via a third party. As regards travel, he said that authorisation has been granted by the U.S. authorities to its citizens to visit Cuba under a general licence in the 12 categories permitted by U.S. legislation, and scheduled flights between the two countries have been restored in that regard. However, he added that “U.S. citizens are still banned from vacationing freely as tourists in Cuba, under a law that can only be repealed by Congress.”These are among other issues which he said needed to be shelved.
“The blockade against Cuba must be removed unilaterally and unconditionally”, Ambassador Marchante said. On October 26th, Cuba is expected to present a Draft Resolution to the international community which will reflect the current status of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Source: Guyana Chronical