The 139 organizations of the Cuban civil society and the regional and international organizations headquartered in Cuba, which met in Havana, on October 20th, 2010, in the VII Forum against the US economic, commercial and financial blockade on the Cuban people, following up on the positions adopted in the previous Fora and after discussing on the current state of the situation denounced in them, agree to state the following:
1. On 28 October 2009, the United Nations General Assembly passed, with 187 votes in favor, the Resolution “Necessity of Ending the Financial, Commercial and Economic Blockade Imposed by the United States against Cuba” in which the government of the United States of America is called upon to lift the blockade unilaterally imposed on the Cuban people by the authorities of that country and which has been in place for nearly 50 years.
2. The VII Forum reaffirms what was set forth in the Final Declaration of the VI Forum, when it states: “the blockade against Cuba is the longest, cruelest and most unjust blockade ever known in the history of mankind and it is a true economic war, which qualifies as an act of genocide. Its main and declared objective has been the destruction of the Cuban constitutional order, depriving the Cuban people of the sovereignty and the exercise of its right to free determination”.
3. This policy, which carries on the history of the empire’s aggressions against the Cuban nation, has failed to submit the Cuban people by hunger and diseases. However, the US government continues to annually allocate millions of dollars in order to guarantee the strictest implementation of all the laws and regulations that make up the blockade against Cuba. Through the information and communication mass media subsidized by their agencies, the United States unleashes a media war that presents to the world a completely distorted image of the Cuban reality, thus meddling in the internal affairs of our country, which constitutes a violation of the inalienable right of the Cuban people to its self-determination, independence and sovereignty, and to adopt the economic, political and social system most suiting its interests, as stated in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the main international instruments that govern the relations among nations.
4. The international opposition to the coercive and unilateral measures against Cuba, and within the United States, has continued to increase this year. However, President Barack Obama extended the validity of the sanctions against Cuba for another year at the beginning of September 2010, in virtue of the powers vested on him by the Trading with the Enemy Act, which is the foundation of the other laws and regulations making up the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. Such action has been even reinforced by including our country in 2010, in the arbitrary “black list” of countries sponsoring or promoting terrorist activities. These actions contrast with the statements made by the US President himself during his election campaign when he stated that he would introduce some changes in the relations with Cuba and set aside his prerogatives of introducing substantive modifications to such policy even without submitting them for the approval of Congress.
5. The extraterritorial nature of the US blockade not only remains in place, but has also been reinforced during the past year. These unilateral sanctions against Cuba, which have an extended effect outside the US territory on companies and citizens from third countries in violation of the International Law, have been reinforced; especially when it comes to their enforcement in the bank and financial sectors.
6. The blockade constitutes a gross, massive and systematic violation of the human rights, which continues to be implemented on our country with complete impunity. It violates:
· Our citizens’ right to development since, in these 50 years, it has caused losses to the Cuban economy accounting for more than $ 750 thousand million US dollars at its current value. Were there be no blockade, such resources could have been invested in projects on the sustainable, economic and social development of our nation.
· The right to health, since it hinders the purchase of medicines and medical equipment that are only manufactured in the United States, by subsidiaries of US companies based in any country or even by companies from other countries that manufacture them under license. This violation puts the lives of Cuban citizens at risk. Cuba has to purchase medicines, reagents, spare parts for medical equipments and other inputs at faraway markets and, in many occasions, through third parties, which brings with it an increase in prices.
· The right to food, since the onerous and hard conditions for Cuba are maintained, under which the purchase of food to US companies take place. The US government continues to hamper such purchases and no action aimed at materializing these sails has been taken in line with the norms, channels and regular practice of international trade.
· The right to education and culture, which is translated into, among other aspects, the daily shortages affecting the learning and research processes as well as the scientific work of students and teachers at all levels of teaching in general, in the face of the impossibility to purchase teaching aids, inputs and equipment in the US market and due to the establishment of regulations hampering the academic and scientific exchange and Cuba’s access to Internet and the new information and communication technologies.
7. The blockade not only affects the Cuban people, but also violates the constitutional rights of the US people by breaking their freedom to travel to Cuba and exposes those who choose to visit the island to hard fines and prison sentences.
8. The VII FORUM calls upon the United Nations Member States to support once more in the UN General Assembly the draft resolution presented by the Cuban Government as a demonstration of their concern about and commitment to the struggle for the lifting of the blockade. Likewise, it urges them to adopt practical measures that hinder the application in their territories of the US laws and regulations that violate their own sovereignty and the principles of the freedom of trade.
9. The VII FORUM also urges the President of the United States to make use of his vast prerogatives in order to reduce and eliminate the prohibitions imposed by the framework of laws and norms that make up the illegal blockade against Cuba and to exclude Cuba from the so-called list of states sponsors of international terrorism since it not only constitutes an arbitrary act and a political absurdity, but also an additional pretext for implementing the blockade.
10. The organizations of the Cuban civil society as well as the regional and international organization headquartered in Cuba participating in the VII Forum against the Blockade acknowledge and appreciate the wide and effective solidarity towards our country of thousands of organizations of the world’s civil society, including those of the US people, and highly value their support in solidarity with the struggle to end the unjust and immoral policy implemented by the United States against our people. We urge you to make public your support to the draft resolution presented by the Cuban government, which will be considered on the forthcoming October 26th, by the United Nations General Assembly, for the ninetieth occasion, entitled “Necessity of Ending the Financial, Commercial and Economic Blockade Imposed by the United States against Cuba” and to redouble your actions both at the national and international levels by addressing letters to the US President demanding that these coercive and unilateral measures be eliminated.
Done in Havana, on the 20th of October 2010