Blockade of Cuba is genocide, UN rapporteur asserts

Campaign News | Monday, 21 March 2005

"Flagrant violation of human rights"

Geneva, Mar 20 (Prensa Latina) The economic blockade the US government has kept over Cuba for over four decades is a genocide, the United Nations for Food rapporteur Jean Ziegler has asserted here Sunday.

Ziegler, a renowned Swiss lawyer and sociologist, denounced this anti-Cuban policy as "a flagrant violation of human rights", adding that the US hostile policy had not caused more catastrophic damage on the Island because the Cuban government had given full priority to public health, feeding and education for people.

"The US runs after any business relationship Cuba sets with foreign enterprises from any given third country, interferes in any Cuban financial transaction and limits family remittances and visits," he denounced.

He said that as a UN rapporteur, he has the right to ask governments for explanation, but the Bush administration had turned down a visa request when the UN asked the US State Department for permission so he could visit Washington to discuss the blockade issue.

The White House -he pointed out- rejected the petition and addressed the UN a letter on October 18, denying the UN rapporteur authorization for the visit.

Ziegler attended a meeting of solidarity with Cuba, in which he accused Washington of violating the international law and regarded President Bush as "a Pinochet in the White House" in reference to the victims by the war in Iraq.

The Swiss lawyer praised the work of hundreds of Cuban health workers who are assisting Third World nations.

Regarding US plans against Cuba at the UN Commission of Human Rights (UNCHR), Ziegler upheld that Cuba had just like any other nation in the world the right to self-determination, sovereignty and independence.

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