Major Tightening of US blockade on Cuba in 2019

By Orlando Oramas Leon
Havana, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) So far this year, the US blockade against Cuba increased its fury, prioritized targets and was accompanied by a whole battery of lies and defamations against the island.

This is evidenced by the chronology of actions, measures and declarations of President Donald Trump, senior officials of his administration, senators and other US officials.

As the then National Security advisor, John Bolton, who on May 2 said that Cuba maintains 20,000 soldiers in Venezuela and intervenes in the internal affairs of the South American nation.

It was the lie of knowingly confusing military with doctors, and the prelude to an escalation in the economic, financial and commercial fence against the small and neighboring island.

A day later, the White House announced the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which initiated claims in the United States Courts against Cuban companies and third countries for ‘trafficking’ with US properties nationalized at the beginning of the Revolution .

The manifest intention was to use the extraterritorial sword of the blockade on the Cuban economy and discourage the necessary foreign investment.

It is no accident that several international hotel chains based in Cuba were judicially notified by United States courts in an effort to attack the tourism industry of the Greater of the Antilles, called to be the driving force of its economy.

On May 14, Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez proposed a legislation to ban Cuban brands from the United States market; another failed attempt.

June brought more attempts. On the 5th of that month the Treasury Department announced the prohibition of cultural and educational trips of contact with the Cuban people. The ‘people to people’ links went like this.

Cruise, yachts and private plane trips were banned and other operations related to remittances, banking, commerce and telecommunications businesses were also prohibited.

Suffice it to say that this year Cuba expected one million cruise passengers. The ban, since June, affects thousands of Cuban workers in the non-state sector, among them, restaurateurs, artisans, hosts, transporters, among other occupations.

On September 6, the Treasury Department amended the Cuban Asset Control Regulations.

‘Through these regulatory amendments, the Treasury is denying Cuba access to hard currencies and we are curbing the bad behavior of the Cuban government as we continue to support the people of Cuba who suffer so much,’ said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

In practice, there was another knot tightened on the locks of the fence, by limiting the remittances sent by Cubans residing in the northern nation to their relatives in the island.

Amendments further complicate Cuban financial operations by imposing restrictions on fund transfers through US banks, including those that do not originate nor are destined for that market.

They also affect those in which neither the issuer nor the recipient is subject to the jurisdiction of that country.

And in another facet of the blockade, even President Trump himself does not hide the declared purpose of cutting fuel supplies to Cuba.The

It persecutes shipping companies, insurance companies and others related to the transportation of energy to the Caribbean country causing fuel shortages in September.

This led the Cuban government to implement a temporary plan to avoid major impacts on the population, victim and main target of the US blockade.

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