US blockade increasingly extraterritorial, says Cuba

Photo: Prensa Latina.

The extraterritorial application of the blockade is reaffirmed today as a distinctive sign of the hostility of the United States towards Cuba, according to a report by the Cuban government.

This document includes the effects on the island caused by the economic, financial and commercial siege in the last year and results in a draft resolution that the United Nations General Assembly will discuss in November.

It will be the twenty-eighth occasion on which the most representative body of the UN will pronounce itself on the need to put an end to the blockade policy against the largest of the Antilles.

The report emphasizes that the network of sanctions seriously damages Cuba, ‘but it also affects the sovereign interests and rights of third countries, which constitutes a violation of International Law, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of free trade’.

He points out that in the last year the application of the blockade has intensified, which includes the decision of the United States government to activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

Such a measure allows judicial actions in US courts against entities that ‘traffic’ with nationalized properties in Cuba in the 1960s, which already affects Cuban and foreign companies with investment and business In the island. Havana considers this provision attacks freedom of trade and reinforces the extraterritorial nature of sanctions against Cuba, in addition to damaging its economic and commercial relations with the international community.

For example, several of the main cruiser companies on the planet are sued in US courts under the title III of Helms-Burton.

This includes Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise and MSC Cruises.

Cuba expected to receive one million cruise passengers this year, but in May President Donald Trump banned those trips to US companies and citizens.

As a shield against Helms-Burton, the National Assembly of People’s Power approved in December 1996 the Law of Reaffirmation of Dignity and Sovereignty.

That legislation declares the aforementioned US regulations illegal and without any value or legal effect in the Cuban national territory.

The enactment of Helms-Burton led to the approval of ‘antidote laws’ designed by third parties such as Mexico, Canada and the European Union, in order to protect themselves from the effects caused by the execution of US law.

The European Union approved a ‘Blocking Statute’ that prohibits the execution within its territory of United States judicial sentences related to Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

The Canadian government amended the Law Against Foreign Extraterritorial Measures, which states that ‘any judgment issued in accordance with US law will not be recognized or enforceable in any way in Canada.’

For its part, Mexico has the Trade Protection Law and the Investment of Foreign Standards that Contravene International Law.

From April 2018 to March 2019, Cuba counted losses as a result of the US blockade of four billion 343.6 million dollars.

The damages accumulated in almost six decades amount to 922 thousand 630 million dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the United States currency against the value of gold in the international market.

Cuba considers genocidal the blockade policy executed by Washington.

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