The Cuban Embassy in Gaborone this week highlighted the urgent need for a review of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against their country by the United States of America (USA).
The blockade remains in force despite renewed sanctions by US President Barrack Obama under the ‘trading with the Enemy’ Act of 1917.
The US President, visited Cuba in March this year, and the embargo continued to be an obstacle to the process aimed at normalization of relations between the two countries.
After that Washington continued to ban exports of products and equipment to Cuba which are mainly the key sectors of the economy and the persistence of the embargo prevented Cuba from freely exporting products and services to America.
For instance Cuba cannot have direct banking relations with the US except in the case of telecommunications or when it receives US investment in other sectors of the economy.
The Ambassador of The Republic of Cuba, Special Representative to Southern African Development Community (SADC) Juan Carlos Arencibia Corrales, this week told a press conference in Gaborone that since the policy began to be applied over 50 years ago, the blockade has caused damages for over $125,873,000,000.
“Between March 2015 and March 2016, the cost to Cuba of the sanctions amounted to $4, 680, 300, 000 at current prices. The US President still possesses wide executive powers which he has not used to continue adjusting application of the embargo regulations beyond the concessions already made. These will enable him if used decisively to virtually dismantle the embargo policy,” he elucidated.
The US Congress has also received some 51 anti-Cuba legislative initiatives most of which were designed to reinforce basic aspects of the embargo’s application and also prevent the president from passing new executive measures and block the implementation of those already passed.
The Ambassador further explained that the blockade must end saying that it is the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of sanctions ever imposed on any country and remains a flagrant massive and systematic violation of the human rights of Cuban people.
“The international solidarity and support enjoyed by Cuba during these long, difficult years has been a key factor in the change in American’s policy towards Cuba,” he noted.
When questioned if Cuba was given support for campaign by other countries, he revealed that he highly appreciated the support of some African countries including Botswana who came to their aid.
The debate to come up with the resolutions against the embargo will be held at the UN General Assembly next week Wednesday.