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The United States blockade against Cuba in the context of the Covid-19 outbreak

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The Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Nunez.

Strengthening of the United States blockade against Cuba with remarkable extraterritorial effects in the context of the Covid-19 outbreak 

The Hague, 20 May 2020 – The Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in the Kingdom of the Netherlands updates to the public, all interested institutions and friends about the strengthening of the application of the economic, financial and commercial blockade by the US government, with remarkable extraterritorial effects, against the Caribbean Island in the current circumstances of global health emergency of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

This economic, commercial, and financial blockade is the most unfair, severe, and prolonged system for more than 60 years of unilateral and illegal sanctions ever applied against any country and it has continued to be the central pivot of US government policy towards Cuba. No citizen or sector of the economy escapes the negative effects of this genocidal policy.

The latest examples of the application of the blockade measures against Cuba have been imposed in the current situation should be evaluated in the context of the last two years US government hostility policy about the Caribbean Island which includes additional obstacles to foreign trade, cooperation, and the increasing of extraterritorial persecution of Cuba’s banking-financial relations with the rest of the world.

The implementation of defamatory and slanders campaigns, the enforcement of the unconventional war measures, in particular, to impede the supply of fuel to the country with persecution to the companies, entities, and countries that intervene in this process.

Likewise, the US government has systematically lied and falsified on of the data on alleged licenses for operations of sales of medicines and food to Cuba, which are subjected to a complex, bureaucratically process, and deliberately it has been omitted the conditions imposed on Cuban purchases, that ignore any established rule of international trade and in practice prevent to realize it. These are some facts present in the existing scenario.

The current world sanitarian situation has generated an additional international demand from different actors, among them, governments, leaders and civil society that calls to put an end the blockade against Cuba and others sanctions regimes to countries. This has found deaf ears in the US government, which on the contrary has tried to confuse international opinion with alleged flexibilities to the sanctions regimes.

The allusions to humanitarian exceptions or relaxation on the blockade measures imposed by the US government on Cuba, for the “Provision of humanitarian assistance and trade to combat the COVID-19” are false. The Cuban government has publicly denounced it and has sufficiently documented with facts that the statements of US government officials are misleading and that they lie by insisting on the non-existing  of restrictions on medical exports to Cuba due to the application of the blockade. 

There are recent examples that show that the US blockade against Cuba has hindered, threatened, coerced, and prevented the normal acquisition by Cuba, through purchase or donation, of the medical supplies necessary to attend the health emergency caused by COVID-19. 

Among these examples you can find the following:   

  • The Chinese electronic giant Alibaba last March offered to health institutions in Cuba donations of medical supplies, such as masks, respiratory fans, and tests to detect the coronavirus and the US government frustrated it, with the threat to impose sanctions.
  • The Cuban medical company MEDICUBA informed last April that the company was unable to receive contracted pulmonary ventilators because manufactures IMT MEDICAL AG and ACUTRONIC had been acquired by Vyaire Medical Inc., a company based in Illinois, USA, which was informed that the blockade prevents sales to Cuba and therefore the company suspended the contracted sales.
  • The Swiss-Cuban Association and MediCuba-Switzerland reported last April that the banks had blocked the transfers of the donated funds that they had made to support the emergency aid project in Cuba to face the Covid-19 outbreak. 

There also to turn out that the US government has continued to allocate funds to attack the medical assistance that Cuba offers to countries in need, a tradition of solidarity and humanism policy that the Cuban Revolution has developed for more than 56 years in more than 164 countries. In these harsh circumstances, Cuba has continued to extend its aid to nations required support in the confrontation of the COVID-19. More than 20 Cuban medical brigades are contributing now to save lives around the World. 

It should also be mentioned due to its seriousness that Cuba is still waiting for the results of the investigation and measures on a grave terrorist attack committed against the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Washington last 30 April perpetrated by a man who used a semi-automatic assault rifle and shot 32 rounds against the Embassy. The US State Department and government chose to silence on this. The attack cannot be seen as a separate issue, but rather as a direct consequence of the aggressive policy, the hate speech and the permanent instigation to violence by US politicians against Cuba.  

Times of justice, cooperation, solidarity, and respect to international law are much needed than ever before. 


Photography by Kim Vermaat.

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