In the coming days, Cuba will present a resolution against the blockade imposed upon it by the United States government to the United Nations General Assembly. And, for the 31st consecutive year, this resolution will be overwhelmingly voted in favour of by the vast majority of the 193 member states.
The 61-year-old economic, commercial, and financial blockade against Cuba is the longest-standing comprehensive sanctions regime in the world. In a single year alone, from March 2022 and February 2023, the blockade cost the Cuban economy more than 4.8 billion dollars – 405 million dollars each month – causing a deep economic crisis in the small island nation while severely limiting the Cuba’s access to fuel, food, financing, medical equipment, and other supplies required to ensure the well-being of its citizens.
Quite literally, this blockade is an act of genocide – something with which recent events in Gaza have proven the United States all too comfortable with. Article II of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as including acts that cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of a targeted group, as well as acts that deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the targeted group’s physical destruction in whole or in part. These are the explicit goals of the blockade, as admitted by Washington officials themselves.
According to the 1960 Memorandum from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs: “every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba… to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” This clear violation of Cuba’s right to self-determination is ironic considering the fabricated anxiety about Russian and Chinese interference in European and North American democratic processes.
The Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) joins the entire international community, once again, in its condemnation of the immoral and illegal blockade and to call for the immediate cessation of all sanctions by the United States imposed on Cuba, and the removal of Cuba from the spurious list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. To do so would be the minimum act towards complying with international law and realizing justice for the millions of ordinary Cubans who are the victims of the United States’ economic warfare and imperial domination.
We demand the Prime Minister of Canada stand on the right side of history and that Canada not only vote against the blockade against Cuba, but also publicly speak out against the United States’ intransigence in the face of international consensus on the matter of its unilateral blockade on Cuba, and demand the removal of all sanctions against the Cuban people once and for all.
Co-Chairs, Canadian Network on Cuba