Blockade

  • Published 19 June 2017 by Granma

    June 16, 2017, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in a speech replete with hostile rhetoric which recalled the era of open confrontation with our country, announced in a Miami theater his administration's policy toward Cuba which reverses advances made these last two years, after December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro Ruz and Barack Obama made public the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations and initiate a process toward normalization of bilateral ties.

    In what constitutes a setback in relations between the two countries, Trump delivered a speech and during the same event signed a policy directive entitled, " National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening U.S. Policy toward Cuba," mandating the elimination of educational "people-to-people" exchanges undertaken by individuals, and greater control of U.S. travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of economic, commercial, or financial transactions on the part of U.S. companies with Cuban enterprises linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces, intelligence or security services - all of this with the intentional objective of denying us income. The U.S. President justified this policy with alleged concerns about the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to rigorously enforce blockade laws, conditioning its lifting, as well as any improvement in bilateral relations, on our country making changes elemental to our constitutional order.

    Trump likewise vacated the Presidential Policy Directive, "Normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba," issued by President Obama on October 14, 2016, which, although it did not attempt to hide the interventionist character of U.S. policy or the objective of advancing its interest in changes in our country's economic, political and social order, the directive recognized Cuba's independence, sovereignty, and self-determination, and the Cuban government as a legitimate, equal interlocutor, as well as the benefits that both countries and people could gain in a relationship of civilized coexistence, within the context of the great differences which exist between our two governments. It also recognized that the blockade was an obsolete policy that should be eliminated.

    Once again, the U.S. government resorts to the coercive methods of the past, adopting measures to tighten the blockade, in effect since February of 1962, which not only causes harm and depravation to the Cuban people and constitutes an undeniable obstacle to our economy's development, but also impacts the sovereignty and interests of other countries, generating international condemnation.

    The measures announced create additional obstacles to already restricted opportunities available to U.S. businesses to trade with and invest in Cuba.

  • paypal us blockade of cubaRock Around the Blockade (RATB) is a campaign of the Revolutionary Communist Group in solidarity with socialist Cuba, which uses its example as part of the struggle for socialism and against imperialism here in Britain and worldwide. This month RATB celebrates its 20th anniversary.

    The US blockade has cost the Cuban economy an estimated $1.126 trillion since 1961. For 23 consecutive years the UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to condemn the blockade, with 191 out of 193 nations voting against it this year. On 11 September this year, in contradiction to hypocritical US rhetoric about 'normalising relations', President Obama signed a document to extend Cuba's designation as an 'enemy' under the 'Trading with the Enemy Act' for another year.

    RATB uses PayPal to process payments and donations via our website,www.ratb.org.uk The funds raised from merchandise sold go towards our activities in Britain. RATB organises political and educational discussions, film showings, street rallies and cultural celebrations, about Cuban socialism.

    Without warning or communication, PayPal has blocked our account, for the second time in two years.

  • Published on 22 April by Cuba Solidarity Campaign

    coop bank

    In November 2015 the Co-operative Bank closed the bank account of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) citing changing “risk appetite” and “global regulations” among the reasons.

    Now following a huge campaign by CSC members and affiliates Niall Booker, the bank’s Chief Executive, has finally confirmed in writing that the closure was due to ‘risk’ arising from sanctions imposed by the US government.

    In response to direct questions from concerned members, Mr Booker said “it is correct that the sanctions that are in place are those imposed by OFAC.”

    US blockade policies against Cuba are enforced by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). By adhering to US sanctions the Co-operative Bank is complying with US extraterritorial legislation.

    This is in itself illegal under British and EU law.

    When similar events occurred in Austria and Mexico, those countries acted to penalise the companies for acquiescing to US blockade sanctions legislation over and above their own county’s sovereign laws.

  • Published on 11 September 2015 by Cuban News Agency

    cuba eu

    Cuban and European diplomats announced important advancements, particularly in the chapter of trade, during the fifth round of negotiations towards a bilateral accord for political and cooperation dialog, held this week in Havana.

    The two sides said they are getting closer to reach understanding practically in all issues related to the chapter on commerce and they announced a next round of talks in November to deepen discussion on political issues and consider the first part of the accord and final considerations.

    Cuban deputy foreign minister Abelardo Moreno stressed the advancement about cooperation and added that they opened an detailed analysis on political dialog after having identified main issues to discuss, such as the fight on discrimination, human rights, traffic of light and small weapons.

    Meanwhile, the executive director for The Americas at the European External Action Service, Christian Leffler, said that the talks were aimed at consolidating documents related to cooperation, trade and economic exchange.

  • Published on 26 April 2017 by Granma

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    On April 26, the President of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples (MovPaz), Silvio Platero, reiterated in Havana that the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo is the only one in the world which exists against the will of the people and government of the land on which it is located.
    This is why the island has been chosen to host the International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, noted the activist speaking during a press conference regarding the fifth edition of this event, which will take place from May 4-6 in the eastern province of Guantánamo. 
    So far, over 200 delegates from 25 countries are scheduled to attend the event, which aims to unite forces in the struggle to eliminate military bases worldwide, he noted. 
    Platero went on to highlight that in addition to foreign military bases and their negative impact, debates will be centered on other issues such as nuclear disarmament and calls to end the interventionist policies of global powers. 
    The MovPaz President also warned of the danger represented by the increasing number of military bases worldwide, noting that, of the over 1,000 that exist, the United States has 850 located across five continents. 
    The final declaration of the event will be read out in the town of Caimanera, located only a few meters from the Guantánamo Naval Base maintained by the United States against the will of the Cuban people, stated Platero.
    He also highlighted that following the event delegates will pay tribute to the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, at the tomb where his ashes reside in Santiago de Cuba’s Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. (PL)

  • Published on 17 November 2015 by Granma

    biocubafarma

    Under a new action plan, the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Group BioCubaFarma, is looking to promote potential businesses related to providing medical services, and making a multi-faceted contribution to the development of the Cuban economy. The island’s greatest export potential lies in its healthcare products and services, enhanced by international recognition of the country’s medical care (in accordance with cooperation projects across 60 countries) and results of over three decades of scientific efforts, production and research for the treatment of chronic illnesses. 

    Increasingly comprehensive, cost effective and aimed toward diversification and constant growth, these exports promise to make a positive change in the health systems and quality of life of citizens in beneficiary nations.

    According to BioCubaFarma’s director of Trade, Business and International Collaboration Policy, Mayda Mauri Pérez, comprehensive care for diabetic patients, diagnosis and rehabilitation of cardiovascular illnesses and cancer prevention, research and treatment feature among priority demands. 
    Other projects include the detection, analysis and treatment of hearing disabilities; early identification of neurodevelopment disorders in infants; comprehensive pre and neonatal research; and epidemiological surveillance. 

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    Dr Helen Yaffe, author of Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution, speaks to the BBC on the arrival of Obama in Cuba.

  • Published on 12 October 2016 by Granma.

    french bank fined

    Despite the establishment of a historic dialogue with Havana on December 17, 2014, and regardless of the official visit of President Barack Obama to the island in March 2016, Washington continues to apply economic sanctions against the Cuban population, sparking the incomprehension of the international community. Established in 1960, during the Cold War, the sanctions (an economic, commercial and financial blockade of the country) persist more than half a century later, cause major difficulties for the Cuban economy and inflict unnecessary suffering on the most vulnerable sectors of the population. Their high cost and extraterritorial reach prompt unanimous rejection by the international community.

    However, the resolution of this asymmetrical conflict depends on the executive branch of the U.S. government, which has the necessary prerogatives to dismantle much of the framework of the sanctions imposed on the island.

  • Published on 30 March 2016 by Granma.

    obama speech

    Much more is revealed by what Obama didn’t say in Havana, than the little he did, no matter how choice his words. This is the same Obama who could do much more given his Presidential powers and yet has not. Dario Machado reports.  

    Like many others, I followed the visit by Barack Obama to our country and experienced mixed feelings: on the one hand, the healthy patriotic and revolutionary pride of witnessing a U.S. president rectifying the policy toward Cuba and repeating on our own soil that the blockade must be ended, reaffirming respect for our sovereignty and independence, which we Cubans have earned with our sacrifice, our sweat, our blood, our history; and on the other hand, the danger posed by those who believe that with these lukewarm changes, the contradiction between the interests of U.S. imperialism and the Cuban nation has disappeared. But it was only after listening to his speech that Tuesday morning that I decided to write this, because, as Fidel warned over half a century ago, from now on everything will be more difficult.

    Who could doubt the enormous complexity of U.S. society, where black and white analysis is of little value?

  • Published on 13 July 2016 by teleSUR.

    cuba and us flags

    Legislation passed this week aims to reverse President Obama's policy of normalizing relations with the blockaded island nation.

    The United States House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a number of clauses that seek to toughen U.S. sanctions on Cuba in the budget bill for 2017 financial services and general government services.

    The new measures are at odds with U.S. President Barack Obama's policy of thawing relations with Cuba, which has been under a U.S. blockade for more than 50 years. To become law, the measures still need to pass the U.S. Senate and receive President Obama's signature, neither of which is guaranteed.

  • Published on 18 February 2016 by Granma

    obama cuba

    The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations Director General for the United States, Josefina Vidal, confirmed during a press conference in Havana this Thursday, February 18, that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, will visit Cuba March 21-22.

    The president will be welcomed by the Cuban government and people with the hospitality that characterizes us, Vidal said.

    “It will be an opportunity for President Obama to appreciate the Cuban reality and continue to discuss the possibilities of expanding bilateral dialogue and cooperation on issues of mutual interest to the two countries,” she added.

    Vidal also noted that the visit marks a further step toward improvement in relations between Cuba and the United States.

    The Foreign Ministry official stressed that the normalization of bilateral relations is dependent on the resolution of key outstanding issues, including the lifting of the blockade, and the return to Cuba of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base.