Despite President Barack Obama’s commitment to end to the 50-plus years blockade, Cuba says the policy still remains in force and continues to cause severe damage to the country’s economy and development.
To this end, Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, Julio Marchante, at a press conference on Thursday said his country is looking forward to the support of the international community as it once again presents a resolution at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly next week, with the aim of completely removing the United States’ embargo.
In October last year, the international community demonstrated its overwhelming rejection of the policy, supporting Cuba’s resolution calling for its immediate end by a vote of 191 in favour.
The resolution, titled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”, will be presented to the UN for the 25th consecutive year.
The 2016 Draft Resolution reflects the current status of bilateral relations between Cuba and the US; reiterates Cuba’s appreciation of the restoration of diplomatic relations and President Obama’s expression of willingness to work towards the lifting of the blockade, which was reaffirmed during his historic visit to Cuba earlier this year.
Ambassador Marchante noted that the role of the international community is essential in having the sanctions against Cuba removed. On this note, he recognised Guyana’s support over the years in its effort
“Cuba reiterates its gratitude for the permanent support of Guyana to the demand by the Cuban people for an end to this illegal, genocidal and extraterritorial policy, which will never prevent the Cuban people from defending its sovereignty and its unfettered right to choose its own future,” he remarked.
The Ambassador went on to mention President David Granger’s speech at this year’s UN General Assembly, where he lobbied for the removal of the blockade.
According to Ambassador Marchante, the measures taken by the White House thus far to remove the blockade are not enough, as they have had a limited impact and constitute a basic obstacle to the process aimed at normalising relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Marchante concluded that the blockade against Cuba must be removed unilaterally and unconditionally, calling it the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of sanctions ever imposed on any country, which remains a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of the human rights of the Cuban people.