Declaration by the Cuban parliament
Campaign News | Monday, 13 October 2008
The National Assembly of the Peoples’ Power (Cuban Parliament) issued a declaration calling on parliamentarians throughout the world to urge the US Congress and the government of the United States to unconditionally lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba and to respect the legitimate and sovereign right of the Cuban people to build their own destiny.
On October 29, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly will discuss and put to the vote the draft resolution “Necessity to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”.
For 16 consecutive years, the very General Assembly has approved similar resolutions by a growing and overwhelming majority. The last of these, which was voted on October 30, 2007, was supported by 184 countries.
However, as was irrefutably demonstrated in the report presented by Cuba to the General Assembly on the resolution that was adopted last year, the government of the United States, with its customary arrogance, has ignored the express mandate of the international community and, far from ending that genocidal policy, is intensifying it in an attempt to kill our people by hunger and diseases.
In the course of last year, the main targets of the blockade have been maintained and reinforced, which was evidenced by the systematic persecution and application of sanctions against companies and financial institutions that have or could have business with Cuba, while organizing or increasing subversive operations which, by virtue of the Bush Plan, pursue the goal of overthrowing the legitimate constitutional order that has been established and endorsed by the Cuban people and initiating the re-colonization of our country.
As the international community knows full well, Cuba has suffered recently from the destructive swathe cut by hurricanes Ike and Gustav. According to unofficial figures, losses are estimated at more than five billion dollars, which basically focus in highly sensitive areas for the population such as housing, agriculture, energy and the infrastructure.
The Cuban government, along with the determined and selfless efforts of the vast majority of our people, is deploying all its energy so that, in the shortest time possible, we may recover from the damages inflicted, look after the enormous needs of Cuban families, construct or reconstruct tens of thousands of houses and increase the production of foodstuffs. All of this should be done amidst the difficult conditions facing the world today, which is plunged in a financial crisis of unforeseeable effects for the entire planet.
In that titanic battle we are waging, we have experienced the solidarity of many governments and peoples throughout the world who, through magnificent gestures, have sent contributions of donations and help of inestimable moral and material value, in spite of some of their own shortages. The Cuban people, the exceptional protagonist of the systematic practice of solidarity, understand in their entire dimension and convey its appreciation for these unselfish acts
However, we cannot say the same about the government of the United States. First, they offered the presumed aid of one hundred thousand dollars accompanied by in situ inspection of the damages caused by both hurricanes. The only answer we could give was that of not accepting any commission to evaluate damages, since our experience accumulated during all these years has enabled us to rigorously and objectively evaluate the ravages of this kind of meteorological phenomena.
As a matter of principle, Cuba could not accept either any presumed aid from the government that has perpetuated the criminal blockade that has lasted almost 50 years.
Cuba did not ask for help from anyone, much less the United States. Cuba did ask the government of that country to allow Cuba to buy from American companies, under the same conditions in which these companies sell to the world market, the resources needed for the reconstruction of the country. Many were the voices in the United States, including those of presidential candidates, Democrat and Republican members of Congress, influential newspapers, NGOs and humanitarian organizations, that asked the American administration not just to lift the blockade, but something much simpler: to relax for a few months its Draconian measures, including the travel ban on Cubans living in that country and the ban on remittances to their relatives in Cuba, something that, in their opinion, could have an impact on the assistance to the Cuban people.
Meanwhile, the government of the United States reiterated that under no circumstances would it relax the application of its criminal policy. There is no more eloquent example of the true objective of the blockade: the attempt to destroy the Revolution by causing “hunger and despair” and undermine the support of the people, as recognized by that government on April 6, 1960. That policy, which clearly classifies for the international crime of genocide, will soon observe half a century of existence.
In the face of the stubbornness and arrogance of the United States government, Cuba will continue forward. Fifty years of aggressions and economic war inflicted by the greatest power known to history will never crush the will of our people. In the arduous circumstances that we struggle today, we shall continue working for the country's recovery so that we may conquer, as Martí wished, all the justice.
The National Assembly of the Peoples’ Power of the Republic of Cuba calls on parliamentarians throughout the world to demand from the Congress and the government of the United States to unconditionally lift its genocidal blockade and respect the legitimate and sovereign right of the Cuban people to build their own destiny.