20 UN agencies censure blockade
Campaign News | Sunday, 29 October 2006
Secretary General's report lashes US policy
UNITED NATIONS (PL).- 20 UN agencies have condemned the U.S. blockade of Cuba as "a unilateral policy" that is blocking economic and social cooperation with the island, according to an official report by the secretary general published October 27.
In that document the agencies state their disagreement with Washington’s imposition of coercive measures against Cuba over more than 40 years.
These international bodies have demanded the annulment of the blockade of Cuba on account of its violation of international law.
The report, which also includes considerations from 100 countries opposed to the blockade, confirms a universal consensus on ending that hostile policy.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) particularly censured Washington’s decision to intensify the blockade of Cuba in order to make economic, political and social life on the island more difficult.
The ECLAC refers to a report from the Cuban authorities, according to which the accumulated direct and indirect damage to the economy of that underdeveloped country amounts to $82 billion.
For its part, UNICEF cited as a concrete example of the prejudicial effects of the blockade the serious problems in acquiring cytostatics for child suffering from cancer.
Pharmaceutical laboratories that had contracts with Cuba had to suspend supplies of those medicines after they were bought up by U.S. transnationals, UNICEF notes.
For the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the extra-territorial effects of the blockade imposed by Washington have significant consequences for Cuba due to the influence of U.S. interests in transnational enterprises.
In its turn, the UN Population Fund highlights in its report the efforts made by Cuba to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS over close to 20 years in the quality of the a country blockaded by the United States.
In the UN secretary general’s report the UN Development Program (UNDP) reiterated the impossibility of acquiring equipment and other supplies manufactured by the United States or protected via patents held by that country.
According to UN-Habitat, the blockade imposed on Cuba restricts that nation from having access to low-cost chemical products and equipment for the treatment of water and waste water, which has negative impact on the environment and public health.
"The UN system in Cuba has come up against difficulties and limitations for technical cooperation projects, above all acquiring equipment and other supplies manufactured in the United States or with components produced there," the UNDP notes.
The Secretary General’s report is circulating among UN members as part of the procedures prior to the annual debate on the "The need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States."
According to the official program, the 61st General Assembly is to discuss the issue on November 8, for the 15th year in succession.
On the 14 previous occasions the General Assembly passed by an overwhelming majority a resolution calling on Washington to end the blockade of Cuba.
Last year the vote reached the record figure of 182 votes in favor.
For Cuba's full report on the blockade go to:
US hostility toward Cuba at an unprecedented level
From the International Herald Tribune newspaper
WASHINGTON American hostility toward Cuba has reached "unprecedented levels" under the Bush administration, a senior Cuban official said Tuesday. He predicted that the U.N. General Assembly will deliver a sharp rebuke of U.S. policies in a resolution next month.
Cuba's chief diplomat in Washington, Dagoberto Rodriguez, said the world assembly will denounce the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, as it has each year since the early 1990's.
"The longest running and most ruthless blockade ever known to mankind will be rejected again," Rodriguez said, noting that 182 countries voted to end "this cruel and genocidal policy" last year.
He said the United States pursues regime change in Cuba and seeks to annex the island.
The Bush administration says it is seeking, through a policy of economic denial and other means, a peaceful transition to democracy on the island.
In response to a question about the possible reinstatement of Fidel Castro, Rodriguez said, "His health has been improving every day. He will soon be assuming his duties as president."
A month ago, Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Castro will take charge on Dec. 2. He relinquished power to his brother, Raul, on July 31 after reportedly undergoing intestinal surgery.