More People Condemn US Blockade against Cuba

Havana, Sep 18 (Prensa Latina) More people have spoken out their condemnation of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, according to Havana”s report on that policy that will be voted at the United Nations next month. According to the document, published by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, more people from all over the world and within the United States have strongly demanded the lifting of Washington’s unilateral sanctions.

The report, entitled “Necessity to Put an End to the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba”, contains several examples of opposition within US society to that aggressive policy that has lasted 55 years.

According to the document, on May 18, 2013, Representative Kathy Castor published an article in the Tampa Bay Times, entitled “What I Learned in Cuba”, in which she noted the need for the United States to recognize the changes being made in the Caribbean island.

Castor asked President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to take actions to promote direct talks with Cuba, and urged them to lift the blockade, eliminate travel restrictions to US citizens or at least establish a general license with that purpose.

She also called to normalize bilateral relations, delete Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorists, promote trade with Cuba to take advantage of the port of Mariel, in Artemisa province, and boost cooperation in oil drilling and the environment.

On June 10, 2013, the Northwest Florida Daily News published an editorial that called on US citizens to travel to Cuba legally through people-to-people contacts.

It also demanded an end to the embargo, and urged readers to ignore Senator Marco Rubio and the representatives from South Florida.

An article by Katrina Vanden Heulen, editor of the magazine The Nation, was published in July 2013 in The Washington Post under the title “The US Must Lift the Embargo on Cuba”.

Vanden Heulen pointed out that the blockade is an old-fashioned policy that has only served to enhance Cuba’s prestige and isolate the United States from Latin America, and noted the positive sign of economic changes in Cuba.

In addition, on August 16, 2013, the Middle East Section of the Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, to which the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin belong, approved a resolution condemning the blockade, claiming that that policy restricts their commercial possibilities.

In September 2013, Reverend Richard Pates, president of the International Justice and Peace Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, demanded to normalize relations with Cuba and delete the island nation from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism in a letter to Susan Rice, White House’s National Security advisor.

Among other examples, Cuba’s report notes how President Barack Obama, in a fund-raising event for the Democratic Party, admitted the obsolescence of Washington’s policy on Cuba and questioned its effectiveness at present.

The report says that according to Obama, that policy must be updated in a “creative and reflexive” manner.

Cuba’s draft resolution has been submitted for 22 consecutive years to the United Nations General Assembly, and will be submitted again in October. Last year, 188 countries condemned the blockade, while two nations voted in favor and three abstained.

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